Drug lord kept in upper floor cell to help keep eye on prison security


By Norman Palihawadana

It has been revealed that a drug baron, known as Susei, who was found to run his criminal operations by using mobile phones while in jail, had been kept on an upper floor of the Welikada Prison so that he could see the officers who came to check prison cells, Minister of Justice and Prison Reforms, Thalatha Atukorale told The Island yesterday.

Atukorale has instructed prison officers to transfer Susei to a prison cell on the ground floor. "Putting this man in an upper floor cell is a big problem. It is obvious that Susei was kept there because it provided him with a vantage point. We have to find out who colluded with him and assisted him to run his empire. Most prison officers are honest. We just have to weed out the corrupt."

Last week Atukorale directed the immediate disbanding of the Intelligence Unit of the Welikada maximum security prison. Ministry spokesman Nalin Rajapaksa told The Island that the decision had been taken after examining a spate of recent corruption charges and irregularities involving the Prisons Department.

Ministerial intervention came in the wake of the recovery of hand phones and revelation that convicted criminals are running major narcotics smuggling operations via mobile phones.

Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekera, recently, alleged that a convicted criminal, in the Welikada Prison, had been involved in a massive heroin smuggling operation. The accusation was made following the arrest of two persons with 103 kilos of heroin.

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