President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday made another attempt to get credit for the current STF operations against drug kingpins and underworld criminals.
Addressing a function in Polonnaruwa, President Sirisena said he had started “polishing” the Police service, and went on to question what the ministers in charge of the Police service did over the last 25-30 years.
“Three months after I took over the Department of Police, there is an all-out war against drugs and the underworld. None of the other ministers who overlooked the Police service before, allowed it to function as an effective law enforcement unit,” Sirisena said.
However, a new division was formed headed by Senior DIG M.R. Latheef, combining the Organized Crime Division and Police Narcotic Bureau to fight underworld and drug lords in August 2017, by former Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka. ‘
Multiple Police sources confirmed that President Sirisena had no idea about the combined division or its operational plans at the time of the formation.
Sources within the Prime Minister’s Office said first discussions on the arrest of Makandure Madhush and other underworld criminals hiding in Dubai took place when UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Sri Lanka in 2017. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe officially sought the help of the UAE authorities in this regard.