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So much of narcotics seized: Where do they end up?

21 February 2019 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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‘‘Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan” (English Proverb)
   
Saturday’s Daily Mirror carried an expose headlined, ‘Who was behind the arrest of Makandure Madush’. The article gives a new take on the story that is continuing to create headlines and take centre-stage with startling new revelations on a daily basis about Sri Lanka’s on-going battle against narcotics. It is replete with details as to who played the key role and what took place behind the scenes leading to the arrest of the notorious drug-kingpin and several of his accomplices by the Dubai Law Enforcement Agencies on February 4. The arrests were carried out during a lavish party hosted by Madush to celebrate the birthday of his child by one of his mistresses.   

This expose also came in the wake of several government officials including some higher-ups falling over each other in their attempts to claim the credit and the kudos for whatever that happened in Dubai.   

According to the article, it appears that neither the Sri Lanka Police nor its affiliated law enforcement agencies had anything to do with this major arrest, though the Police had from time to time maintained that they were on the trail of the 40-year-old Makandure Madush and his accomplices when their names came to be linked to high-profile killings and other criminal activities. Some reports had even said that the Police were preparing a secret plan to arrest the drug-kingpin, who was hiding in Dubai and conducting his criminal activities from there. But carrying out such a plan in Dubai was too far-fetched and would have been easier said than done.   

The article revealed that the Dubai Law Enforcement Agencies were tipped-off by a Sri Lankan Police Inspector -- formerly attached to the STF Intelligence Unit -- who is reported to have single handedly collected sufficient evidence with the help of his informers to warrant the arrest of Makundure Madush. All the while the authorities in Sri Lanka were in the dark as to what was taking place or had taken place in the wake of little or no information forthcoming from Dubai.   

We hope the government recognises the valiant efforts of the brave Police Inspector, who remains unnamed in the article that prompted this editorial, and amply rewards him for laying the ground work that ultimately led to the arrest of Sri Lanka’s most wanted drug-kingpin.   

Be that as it may, the foregoing underpins the fact that Sri Lanka’s law enforcement agencies have no time to lose or waste or remain complacent but should continue their relentless task of tracking down and nabbing the deadly culprits, who are spreading their tentacles far and wide, polluting this country with narcotics and ensnaring the vulnerable.   

On the one hand we need to congratulate our drug busters, who are performing a difficult task, often times at the risk to their lives and those of their families to break the backbone of the narcotics trade, whether it is to do with smuggling, trafficking or peddling.   

On the other hand, as underscored in a previous editorial, what needs to be highlighted is that their efforts will come to naught, if the drug trade’s remote controllers and manipulators, whatever their status, post or position might be, are allowed to roam around without fear of capture and allowed to remain beyond the reach of the long arm of the law, amassing their filthy lucre to feed their luxurious lifestyles while the drug addicts are condemned to a life of agony, misery and despair.   

Another important and burning question being repeatedly asked is what happens to the massive quantities of narcotics worth millions if not billions of rupees that are being regularly detected and seized on a hitherto unprecedented scale. Are there safeguards in place to prevent the narcotics once seized seeping back into circulation. Not having seen or heard, in the electronic or print media, of the narcotics in custody being destroyed in public. Can anyone be faulted for entertaining doubts as to the fate of the narcotics?   

Meanwhile, it is difficult to imagine the law enforcement agencies being unaware as to the identity of the main players or the brains behind this evil. In case they are known, as surely they must be; then they should be named and shamed and subjected to the severest punishment as a deterrent to the next in line waiting on the side-lines for the slightest opportunity to jump into the narcotic bandwagon.   

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