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23 May 2024

STF destroy cannabis plants in forest reserves

By Correspondent

Last week, the Special Task Force (STF) and the Walana Vice Squad launched a three-day operation in the state forest reserves of Udawalawe in the Uva province, successfully completing with the uprooting and destroying of several ganja (Cannabis Sativa) plants in the thick jungle. 

The 'Sunday Observer’ reported a senior police officer as saying that on the instructions of IGP N Illangakoon, around 300 STF Commandos and 30 police officers from Walana Vice Squad were sent last week to the Udawalawe forest reserve to destroy vast swathes of land which had been cultivated with ganja plants and to arrest the suspects. 
He said that to enable the STF officers, to penetrate deep into the jungle terrain of Udawalawe, the operation has been extended up to Hambegamuwa where ganja had been cultivated over 50-60 acres of the reserve.
“Our officers are still combing the jungle and have destroyed several acres of land where six-foot ganja plants had been found. Although the suspects had fled from the jungle with several kilos of dried ganja, they had left a mobile phone in the jungle. We can gather valuable information about the suspects involved in the ganja racket,” STF source said.
Until several more ganja plants are destroyed, the STF operation will continue for another week and it is learnt that to locate ganja plantations in the Udawalawe reserve, reconnaissance aircraft are being deployed.
A police sergeant from Avissawella was detected by the STF officers at Ruwanwella last week while transporting over eight kilos of dried ganja in a luxury vehicle and the policeman had admitted, on being questioned, that he had transported the ganja from Udawalawe.
The police sergeant was to be issued a vacation of post order, as he went missing from Avissawella police station for several days, and had not informed his police station concerned.
“He may have transported ganja from Udawalawe for several days,” the police said.
The operation is being directed by DIG RWMC Ranawana.