Following an emergency joint search operation conducted at the Mirihana Detention Centre last morning, a total of 75 mobile phones, five laptop computers and cash equivalent to Rs.1,56,000 were recovered, Immigration and Emigration Media Spokesman B. G. G. Milinda said.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, he said the search operation was conducted on a tip-off indicating that electronic equipment and narcotics are prevalent within the premises. More than forty officers including the Mirihana HQI and police officers, STF officers, Intelligence Officers attached to the Department of Immigration and Emigration, Police Narcotic Bureau officers and with the help of sniffer dogs carried out the search operation.
"Keeping mobile phones and laptops in the detention centre is illegal. Further legal actions will be taken according to the Immigration and Emigration law," Mr. Milinda said. There are 118 foreigners at the Mirihana Detention Centre but the majority is Nigerians which is 55 in numbers, he said.
"The laptops and mobile phones were found hidden in several places inside the detention centre such as under mattresses. Investigations will conduct to identify the owners of those items," the spokesman said.
"The immigration officers suspect those items belonged to the Nigerians as they were the majority and they were involved in several money laundering cases and internet money forgery cases. They still have ongoing court cases for their charges," he said.
118 detainees include 55 Nigerians, 20 Indians, 13 Bangladeshi nationals, three Iranians, one Iraqi national, one Korean, one Maldivian, 15 Pakistanis, four Palestinians, two Thai nationals, one Yemeni and one Filipino. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)