A new special division was formed headed by Senior DIG M.R. Latheef, amalgamating the Organized Crime Division and Police Narcotic Bureau to tackle and apprehend underworld gang leaders and drug kingpins as well as to combat drug and underworld crimes in August 2017, by former Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka.
Minister Sagala Ratnayaka categorically stated that President Sirisena was clueless about the combined division or its operational plans and activities at the time of the formation.
He expressed dismay on the President’s claim of directing police narcotics division to intensify the fight against drug menace and his untiring efforts to bring drug lords to book after forcibly taking up the Law and Order Ministry 3 months ago.
Prime Minister's Office disclosed that initial discussions on the arrest of Makandure Madhush and other underworld criminals hiding in Dubai took place when UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Sri Lanka in 2017.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe officially sought the assistance of the UAE authorities towards this end.
President Maithripala Sirisena recently tried to get credit for the current STF operations against drug kingpins and underworld gangs.
Addressing a ceremony in Polonnaruwa, President Sirisena said he had launched "cleaning” the Police service, and went on to question what the ministers in charge of the Police service did over the last 25-30 years.
"Three months after I took over the Department of Police, I waged an all-out war against drugs and the underworld “he claimed.