News has been published in certain print and social media in a misleading manner to the public stating that Wickramaratne Nandun Chinthaka alias ‘Harakkata’, a notorious drug kingpin was released by the Dubai Police on 03rd October 2022 due to the Defence Ministry’s delay in submitting the file from this country to the Dubai authorities regarding the criminal allegations levelled against him.
The National Central Bureau (Sri Lanka Interpol) in Colombo which functions under purview of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) had been informed that the aforementioned individual has been arrested by the authorities of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 19th August 2022 in response to a Red Notice alert issued by the National Central Bureau. Afterwards, the CID vide their letter number INT 281/21 dated 12th September 2022 had requested the Ministry of Defence to coordinate the extradition of aforementioned individual to Sri Lanka, around 3:00 p.m., same day.
Thereafter, on 13th September 2022, in keeping with the instructions of the Secretary, Ministry of Defence, a letter prepared with regard to the above individual and related official documents were handed over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) by the officers of the Defence Ministry’s Legal Division.
Consequently, the MFA had requested instructions from the Attorney General's Department (AG) on 14th September 2022 in this regard which the Attorney General's Department responded on 26th September 2022. Following the instructions given, the MFA has informed the Sri Lankan Embassy in the UAE on 30 September 2022 requesting the UAE’s competent authorities, not to release the suspect.
Accordingly, it is hereby further emphasized that there has been no delay in forwarding of documents by the Ministry of Defence, since relevant documents were handed over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in less than 24 hours (following day) of its receipt.
The Ministry of Defence has taken measures to enforce the law against such offenders without delay and place them under custody thus far and the same process will be adopted to bring such wrongdoers before the law in future too. Therefore, news published in certain print and social media is baseless and this Ministry informs the general public not to be misled by such misinformation.