At least 25 criminal gangs operated in the Western Province with nearly 400 members, Western Province, Senior DIG Deshabandu Thennakoon revealed.
He said that a total of 388 members were operating in 25 gangs and that 20 gangs had been identified as highly active criminal gangs.
“However, 130 gangsters in remanded custody,” he said.
He made these revelations at a workshop held in Colombo on resolving issues related to the suppression of all organized crimes and drug trafficking in the Western Province.
“The main challenge we have to face is they still operate their drugs or underworld activities trough mobile phones while being detained in remand prisons,” he said.
Senior DIG Thennakoon said that 346 individuals among the 388 were still at active.
He said 123 members of those gangs were on bail.
“During the recent arrest it was revealed that those on bail are still engaging in extortion and drugs trafficking,” he said.
The Senior DIG said that 16 of the individuals wanted over crimes were unable to be located and that 25 are overseas.
He said the Police are in the process of issuing red notices on them while they had already issued 19 red notices after obtaining open warrants trough courts.
Meanwhile, SDIG Thennakoon said that the number of drug addicts in the country had now exceeded 533,000.
He said that more than 25,000 of them were in the Western Province.
“Most of the money transferred for drug trafficking is through mobile phones and we will take action in this regard in the future,” he said.(Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya)