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SL foils human trafficking ring sending ex-servicemen to Russia-Ukraine conflict zones

May 09, Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka Police have dismantled a human trafficking operation aimed at deploying Sri Lankan ex-servicemen as mercenaries in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Officers from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) apprehended two individuals, including a former Army Major General believed to be the mastermind, and a Sergeant Major who assisted him.

The suspects, aged 67 and 50 and residing in Kurunegala, were detained by the CID’s Human Trafficking and Maritime Crime Investigation Division.

Earlier, the CID had arrested two individuals, including another Army Major General, in connection with a similar human trafficking ring.

These individuals are currently in remand custody following court proceedings.

The Ministry of Defence of Sri Lanka has verified reports that retired war veterans from the country have been casualties in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, having been misled into joining mercenary groups.

According to the Defence Ministry, these veterans fell victim to fraudulent foreign employment agents promising enlistment in foreign armies, lucrative salaries, citizenship, and other incentives.

The Defence Ministry has issued a stern advisory urging Sri Lankan war veterans to avoid falling prey to illegal schemes and endangering their lives by joining foreign mercenary outfits.

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