Top UK diplomat in Sri Lanka intervenes in drug peddling case – report

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The interest shown by a British diplomat in Colombo, in what seems to be a high-profile case of drug trafficking involving suspects from at least three countries, has raised eyebrows here.

On April 3, the Deputy High Commissioner at the British mission in Colombo sought an appointment with the Inspector-General of Police N.K. Illangakoon to discuss a recent heroin seizure. The diplomat had said a suspect arrested in connection with the case was an informant to one of Britain’s officers in India.

When The Hindu asked the British High Commission for a response, officials there declined to comment.

Confirming that the British mission sought a meeting with him, Mr. Illangakoon said: “Since the investigation is not complete, I told them I would prefer to meet them once it is over.”

It all began on March 6 when Sri Lankan Customs officials confiscated 35 kg of heroin at the Colombo harbour. Soon after, they handed over the case to the narcotics wing for further investigation, Mr. Illangakoon said on Wednesday.

Less than two weeks into the probe, police arrested three persons in connection with the case — a Pakistani national visiting Sri Lanka, a Canadian citizen of Sri Lankan origin, and a Sri Lankan national.

On March 18, police arrested the Pakistani national, then in Kandy, on charges of drug peddling. The drug consignment seized, Mr. Illangakoon said, was in the suspect’s name.

The following day, the police arrested the Canadian citizen on charges of aiding the Pakistani national escape to Kandy. The two were frequent visitors to Sri Lanka, according to the senior police official. “We are looking for some more suspects, we have almost cracked the case,” Mr. Illangakoon said.

While links between the British mission here, one of the suspects – the one said to be the informant to an officer in India – and the prime suspect remain unclear, the Inspector General maintained they had “sufficient evidence” to question the suspect in connection with this case, The Hindu reports.

(Courtesy: Ada Derana)