Major Police reshuffle
By Leon Berenger
At least 20 top Police Officers were transferred out of their respective divisions in a major reshuffle, days after the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) was rocked with a corruption scandal after 16 personnel were arrested for alleged connections to local drug lords, a topmost official said on 3 July.
Three Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIGs), nine Acting DIGs, six Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) and two Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs) were placed on the transfer list, Secretary of the National Police Commission (NPC), Nishantha Weerasinghe said.
Earlier, the Head of the PNB, DIG Sajeewa Medawatte and PNB Director, SSP Manjula Senarath was also moved out following the alleged narcotic scam in the PNB.
DIG Medawatte was transferred to the Police Welfare Division while SSP Senarath was sent to the pool, Weerasinghe said.
He said that all the transfers were approved both by the NPC and the Election Commission following a directive from the Defence authorities.
He added that Acting DIG G.K.J. Aponsu has been transferred from the Police Headquarters to Head the PNB while SSP Sujith Wedamulla has been appointed as the Director of the PNB with immediate effect.
In addition to that, several more personnel attached to the PNB are set to be transferred out as the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) intensifies its probe into the alleged narcotic scam, he further said.
“The numbers set to be transferred out from the PNB could be between half a dozen and a dozen or even more and from various ranks.
This is being done purely as a precautionary measure to prevent a conflict of interest since the Police have been called upon to investigate the Police,” Weerasinghe explained.
A total of 16 PNB officers who were arrested earlier this week since the scam broke out have already been charged with trading in narcotics. They are currently being held under detention orders for further questioning.
Police Headquarters has assigned three special teams from the CID to probe the alleged racket, which is the single largest ever to rock the PNB in its operational history.