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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is planning to hand over vehicles confiscated from the public which are now rotting away at the port for police work, State Minister for Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitya has said.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed that legal barriers that now prevent the handing over of vehicles to police be removed.

“Some of these vehicles which were seized by Customs for violating import regulations have been rusting away for up to seven years,” Minister Siyambalapitiya was quoted as saying after a tour of Hambantota Port.

Sri Lanka police need more vehicles, especially for its work countering drugs, where the use is said to be increasing.

Sri Lanka also plans to set up 111 new police stations.

Sri Lanka police now have about 12,000 vehicles and more than half are over 20 years old, he said.

“These vehicles are not enough for 600 police stations around the country and 111 police stations that are newly established,” he said.

Sri Lanka has arrested more than 6,000 individuals in a crackdown against methamphetamine (ICE) up to October 2022 and seized 377 kilos of the drug, a National Dangerous Drug Control Board (NDDCB) official said.

According to the data issued by the NDDCB Sri Lanka has arrested 67,900 individuals from January to October 2022 period in drug-related charges, a 77.8 percent increase from the same period in 2021.

Of that 67,900. Heroine-related charges came up to 35,765, 25,114 were Cannabis related while 6,728 were ICE-related arrests. (Colombo/ Dec 22/2022)

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