Gunaratne said that senior police officers-in-charge of provinces should be ashamed of wearing their uniforms if drug trafficking, extortion, underworld activities, illegal logging, running brothels, illegal sand mining and other illegal activities were taking place on a massive scale in their respective divisions.
“You need to curb illegal activities that are increasing at an alarming rate without heeding to forces that might influence you and also to protect the dignity of the uniform that you wear. No police officer, from senior DIGs, DIGs to OICs in the area, can wash off their hands as they all are responsible for the increase in crimes rate in their areas,” the Defense Secretary said addressing senior DIGs and DIGs representing all provinces at a special meeting held at the Defence Ministry.
The Defence Secretary said he had received letters from the public from different Police divisions stating the inefficiency of some policemen, including top Police officials in the areas, in curbing crimes and also their involvement with criminals in those areas.
“I have received many complaints that drug trafficking was carried out with the protection of some Policemen during the curfew and drugs were distributed on motorcycles and three-wheelers while also using young children with the blessings of those corrupt policemen,” he said.
He said he had received complaints about an Officer in Charge (OIC) attached to a Northern Police Station, who has taken a large sum of money from a criminal, with the support of another high ranking Police officer, to allow him to run his illegal businesses, freely.
The Defence Secretary also revealed about a failed attempt by a henchman of a notorious underworld criminal to fill a large swathe of a marshy land in the vicinity of Colombo and was thwarted by the Police Special Task Force.
“When inquired, the Police officer-in-charge of that area said he was unaware of the illegal landfilling. You can justify a police officer saying that he couldn’t detect drugs hidden inside a flower basket or a pocket but how can say that he was not aware of the filling of 4-5 acres of land,” Maj.Gen. Gunaratne asked.
He also said that although the Defence Ministry, issuing a letter on April 5 this year, had instructed Superintendents of Police (SP) to prepare reports on underworld criminals and drug traffickers in their respective police divisions, they have failed to submit those reports to the Ministry so far. (Colombo Gazette)