Prisons breeding grounds for criminals– Senior DIG Latiff | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Prisons breeding grounds for criminals– Senior DIG Latiff

Senior DIG Crimes, Organised Crime, Narcotics Range and STF Commandant M.R. Latiff said the prisons system in the country serves as breeding grounds for criminals. “In other countries we have correction facilities, but here when an ordinary drug addict gets convicted, he comes out with a PhD in drug dealing. The hardcore convicts in the prison train him and recruit him into their criminal rings.”

He was speaking at a seminar, ‘Transnational Organised Crime (TOC) in Sri Lanka : Dark Side of the Hub’ organised by the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies (BCIS) in Colombo last week.

Referring to a study, he said that in the month of March an identified condemned prisoner in Welikada has made 3950 calls and he has received 360 calls, even from overseas including Malaysia.

Obviously he had no barrier to manage his business from within. The calls included those to Malaysia. He said “One might wonder if Sri Lanka Telecom was headquartered in Welikada?

According to him Sri Lanka has been considered both a transit and source point along the larger South and South East Asian smuggling routes.

He listed out that “Lack of exclusive statutes and Courts to combat organized crime, anticipating strong evidence and issues in inadmissibility of evidence, very tedious forfeiture procedures to freeze assets here or overseas and lack of political will with regard to extradition treaties being made effective, as stumbling blocks.

He said another major challenge for the police department is the top notch counsels appearing for the perpetrators of TOC. “ It sometimes turns out to be a case of a President’s Counsel or a Queens Counsel Vs GCE A/L qualified police officer.”

However, in offenses against persons and people there is a decline in the crime rate from 2010 to April 2018. And the highest number of arrests of organised criminals, 287, had been made in the year 2016.