STF in countrywide ops in support of regular law enforcement

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The elite Special Task Force (STF) has further stepped-up operations against those who had been involved in the ganja trade with 48 arrests during Jan.10-Feb. 21 period.

Acting on a directive given by the STF headquarters, the police commandos had carried out a series of raids in Thanamalwila, Kataragama, Hambegamuwa, Buttala, Tissamaharamaya, Teldeniya, Angunakolapelessa, Wellampitiya, Jaffna, Mannar and Chunnakam, a spokesman for the STF said, adding that altogether 27 suspects were arrested.

Responding to a query, the official said that 30 acres of ganja plantations had been destroyed in addition to the recovery of 1,885 kilos of dried ganja as well as 9 kgs of Kerala ganja.

He said operations would continue in areas where regular law enforcement appeared to have failed to some extent.

Since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009, the then government deployed the STF in support of police for normal law enforcement operations.

IGP N. K. Illangakoon had served the STF during the early part of the conflict.

Senior SP J. K. R. A. Perera functions as the Commandant of the STF.

The official said during the same period, commandos had also arrested 16 persons over offenses relating to illicit liquor and recovered 2,064 bottles of kasippu.

Commenting on STF efforts aimed at curbing heroin distribution, the official said that raids in Wellampitya and Dematagoda had resulted in the arrest of five persons and the recovery of 4500 mg of heroin. The official estimated the value of narcotics recovered at Rs 20,406,374/-.

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