20 July, 2024

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Organised Crimes: An Escalating Security Threat To Sri Lanka’s Stability

By Thanuri Jayodya

Thanuri Jayodya

As a developing island nation Sri Lanka is facing numerous security challenges. Organized crimes also can be identified as a pressing issue among them. Organized crimes such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, terrorist financing, pyramid scheming, Ponzi scheming, gun violence, trading illegal weapons, and money laundering have become a significant problem in Sri Lanka, especially by undermining the Rule of Law, democracy, peace, and stability of the country.      

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), organized crime consists of planned and rational acts by groups of individuals, rather than random, unplanned individual criminal acts. Furthermore, it states that organized crimes are driven by the purpose of financial gain through criminal activities and are often supported by corruption. (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2019).

It is important to look into the nature of organized crimes. All the aforementioned Organised crimes have commonalities such as Conspiracy, common intention, a ring leader, blind supporters, political will, bribery, corruption, and other related facts. This stance is brought out by Verma,2023 who has mentioned that every criminal organization has a specific set of guidelines, traditions, and procedures to carry out their well-planned crimes. Moreover, using force to carry out criminal activities, suppressing external competitors, and maintaining internal order are also among the specific characteristics of the groups that engaged in organized crimes. Explaining, Verma’s findings underscore the reality behind organized crimes such as only the group members are welcomed, and outgroup members are outcasted. But it should be mentioned that there are important outsiders such as politicians, police officers, and lawyers who do not actively engage in illegal activity but protect the gang members.

Traditionally, organized crimes were viewed as male-dominated activities. This is finely proven by the recorded cases of Sri Lanka including, Gonawala Sunil, Soththi Upali, Chinthaka Amarasinghe, Kalu Ajith, Kaduwela Wasantha, Nawala Nihal, Vambotta, Olcott, Dematagoda Kamal, Kimbula-Ela Guna, Thel Baala, Bambalapitiya Podi RYAN, Anamalu Imtiaz, Wele Suda,  Makandure Madush, Kanjipani Imran, Angoda Lokka who were involved in murder cases, robberies, bank robberies, extortion rackets, extortion and kidnapping, drug dealing, contract killings, drug trafficking. Unlike in the past, women are also now identified as active participants and leaders in organized criminal groups who plan and carry out criminal activities. This can be proven by the cases of a prominent drug trafficker known by the alias “Disco” (Dharmakeerthi Udeni Inuka Perera) and an ill-known woman drug dealer who goes by the name “Yasorapura Dhammi”. (Adaderana,2024). Furthermore, with some of the male mobsters, their female family members are also involved in organized crimes. This change draws attention to the fact that these organized crimes are developing day by day engaging various parties. While environment, personality facts, socioeconomic status, and social influences play a significant role in shaping criminal behavior, hereditary factors have a great impact too. It can be seen that the traumatic events that happened in their lives especially motivated these criminals to commit organized crimes. As an example It was reported that 3 of Vambotta’s sisters were allegedly raped, tortured and killed by a rival family. This had led to a series of revenge killings with more than 25 of the rival family members being killed and their property destroyed.(BestRandoms, n.d).

According to the Global Organised Crime Index, in 2023 Sri Lanka’s criminality score was 4.92, and resilience score was 3.42. The economic instability, weak legal institutions, corruption of the government and law enforcement, geopolitical threats, demand for arms and drugs, corrupted politicians, erosion of the law, tourism, and globalization, are the reasons for the rapid growth of organized crimes in Sri Lanka.

Furthermore, the Global Organised Crime Index stated in 2023, that human trafficking is a concerning issue in Sri Lanka, particularly for workers who are forced to be laborers in other countries because of the gap in Sri Lanka’s employment. They are often employed in construction, garment, and domestic service sectors worldwide. Showing a recent increase, cases of sexual exploitation and child sex tourism have also been reported. Due to ongoing instability in Sri Lanka, more people are leaving their country and becoming vulnerable to human trafficking in other countries. Moreover, while being a transit nation for drugs, arms, and illegal wood, Sri Lanka is also a source country for the illegal timber trade. The Global Crime Index has noted that leading to a rapid increase in serious crimes amidst economic struggles; the politicians, local businessmen, and their supporters are the ones who help to increase the demand for illegal arms in Sri Lanka. (“Criminality in Sri Lanka – the Organized Crime Index,” n.d.).

Drug trafficking is one of the most notable organized crimes in Sri Lanka because it experiences serious heroin abuse and serves as a transition point for heroin trafficking from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India which is directed to Europe. In addition, Sri Lanka is being connected to the both supply and transition of cannabis due to the local and regional demand. Authorities have noted a significant increase in Synthetic drugs with the demand and addiction of school children and young adults. Expanding further, well-planned financial crimes like online fraud, pyramid scheming, and Ponzi scheming are also happening under cyber crimes in Sri Lanka causing losses to various parties. (“Criminality in Sri Lanka – the Organized Crime Index,” n.d.).

Consequences of organized crimes

The above well-planned and controlled crimes are having a serious impact on Sri Lanka’s national security. It breaks down the political, economic, and social stability of the state.  Not only that but also those crimes are a bigger threat to human security causing human rights violations by directly affecting public life, harming the victims, the health of the people, and the cultural values.

Organised crimes are transnational. Crimes involving money laundering, Ponzi scheming, and pyramid scheming are usually carried out using online cash transactions. Because of that it is hard to catch the main criminal. All the organized crimes put people’s lives in danger. While drugs make people mentally and physically weak, crimes like pyramid scheming and Ponzi scheming are reasons for suicidal cases which are driven by guilty minds and inability to tolerate the losses.

Way Forward

Organized crimes, which are a bigger threat to states, people, and even the environment should be addressed effectively. To address and mitigate the negativeness of these transnational crimes, both national and international cooperation is essential. Countries must share their legal strategies, intelligence and thereby they should build up best practices to mitigate these crimes. Furthermore, to ensure and promote human rights and the environment by controlling organized criminal activities, states should act collaboratively with intergovernmental organizations and their specialized agencies such as The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Moreover, community support is crucial in combating these influential organized networks and for that community needs to be aware of the dangers of organized crimes and the main international instrument in the fight against it, which is called The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

It is evident that to combat organized crimes, the root causes of criminal behavior should be addressed strongly and it involves international cooperation, powerful law enforcement, community support, and individual support.

Thanuri Jayodya is an Intern (Research) at the Institute of National Security Studies established and functioning under the Ministry of Defence. The opinions expressed are her own and not necessarily reflective of the Institute or the Ministry of Defence.

References

“BestRandoms- Random Address, Movie, Character, Animal, Superhero, Etc.” n.d. Www.bestrandoms.com. Accessed June 19, 2024. https://www.bestrandoms.com/get-random-sri-lankan-mobsters?all.

“Criminality in Sri Lanka – the Organized Crime Index.” n.d. Ocindex.net. https://ocindex.net/country/sri_lanka.

“Female Drug Dealer ‘Yasorapura Dhammi’ Arrested with Heroin.” n.d. Www.adaderana.lk. Accessed June 14, 2024. https://www.adaderana.lk/news.php?nid=89659.

“Large-Scale Female Drug Dealer ‘Disco’ Arrested.” n.d. Www.adaderana.lk. Accessed June 14, 2024. https://www.adaderana.lk/news.php?nid=87992#:~:text=A%20large%2Dscale%20drug%20trafficker.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 2019. “Organized Crime Module 1 Key Issues: Defining Organized Crime.” Unodc.org. 2019. https://www.unodc.org/e4j/en/organized-crime/module-1/key-issues/defining-organized-crime.html.

Verma, Dinesh. 2023. “What Are Organised Crimes and Their Characteristics?” WritingLaw. November 13, 2023. https://www.writinglaw.com/organised-crimes-and-their-characteristics/.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    1

    As far as I know there are 225 highly organised criminals in the Kotte area. Arresting them would be a good start.

  • 4
    9

    A timely article, but the aubject requires more indepth analysis. But given the author is an intern I suppose her efforts to address an important topic that the public hardly pay attention to requures recognition.
    .
    The role of Indian intelligence service and numerous Indian entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka in organised crimes committed within its borders require specific attention.
    .
    In the particular context the roles that individuals like Ravi Karunanayake and Sugath Hewapathirana needs investigation, which should include former person’s daughter and the entire family of the latter person whose daughter is also currently in Australia studying at Deakin University.
    .
    Indian entrepreneurs like TATA and other smaller ones like the restaurateur who owns Lemons located in the Arpico Super Mall at the Hyde Park Corner, and Lemongrass in Sri Jayawardenapura, Kotte requires investigation, along with the person who comments here in Colombo Telegraph under the pseudonym “old codger”, for possible links with organised crime in Sri Lanka.

    • 8
      2

      The Last point seems like, the inquiry into Natasha or the Jaela Priest, who had to scamper out of the country, because of harassment due what he preached and then exonerated, as the sad realisation dawned on prosecutors there was insufficient evidence!!!???

  • 3
    10

    Hello Thanuri,

    Here’s another organised crime that you have not included in your list of organiced crimes (OC), that seems to be particularly occurring in India. It may be worth paying attention to this before it infest the Sri Lankan society too. With people like Sugath Hewapathirana and Family, that day may not be too far away.
    .
    In the recent past fertility clinics appear to have been mushrooming and getting popular in India that provides assisted reproductive technologies and services.
    .
    They seem to be employing a rather unique way way impregnating their women with semen of high performing above average IQ male individuals who are not their real partners, as a long term measure of producing high intelligent population that could aid country’s development. This seems to be happening without the awareness of concerned parties.
    .
    TBC

    • 3
      8

      These clinics seem to clandestinely employ attractive young promiscuous Indian females to lure young, fit, high IQ males to provide them with various sexual pleasures, most particularly in the form of oral sex. If and when a targetted male agrees to receive such pleasures from one of these girls, the latter seem to collect the male target’s semen, perhaps in to a condom, which they get them to wear during their performance of oral sex, and return the samples to fertility clinics that emplyed them in exchange of money.
      .
      Looks like a quite ingenious plan to increase the IQ levels of the population. If only it were legal, ethical and moral.
      .
      Try to communicate the contents of the above comments of mine to your supervisors at INSS, for their attention ANA.
      .
      TY

      • 12
        2

        Very Good Indeed!! For all purposes, this seems the result of Forst-Hand experience being displayed!!!??
        Perhaps, we could expect also an explanation of what would happen if the Target, turns out to be BARON in real-life term, that being unknown to the Corrupt and Scandalous Syndicate!!???
        EVERYTHING GONE UP IN SMOKE!!?? Never Mind, that also helps solve this Viral Syndicate!!!???

        • 10
          1

          First-Hand, instead of ‘Forst’-Hand

          • 6
            1

            Mahila, a simple DNA test may put an end to this elaborate syndicate. But, what if the receiver wants better IQ child than husband ?? I guess then , it should not be an issue. All sperm banks should screen IQ levels of their donors, so that hopefully millions will not vote, with their eyes closed. One thing is for sure, non SB are safe, because no one wants them to be anymore smarter. Remember Dr . Shaffi and others were accused of causing infertility among SB.

        • 7
          2

          Mahila,
          It seems that some loonies are having a relapse, seeing Indians under their beds.🤣🤣

  • 7
    1

    Thanuri.
    National Security Studies eh?
    I have read reports in the Media where National Intelligence units in the Navy are involved in Drug trafficking!
    Why go so far……How about the April Bombing? Sonic……Sonic…..

    • 7
      0

      None dares ever in this realm!!!??? Sonic, Sonic, Reigns SUPREME!!!???

  • 1
    9

    Thanuri, The cherry on the top of this organised crime net is none other than the brother of two ex-President’s of the country, Basil Rajapaksa. He brings the strengths of the Criminal Intelligence Service of the United States of America better known, world over, as the CIA, to the equation. With the intelligence and the technology they possess that are used to empower criminals over law abiding citizens they rule the world, often squashing smaller countries like us if we fail to address our own issues on a just manner and continue to elect criminals to govern us. They also do not seem to like Sinhalese Buddhists for some unexplainable reason. Therefore have the full blessing of the vatican to desytroy Sinhala buddhists systematically. Well supported by criminal elements of Islamic and Hindu faith. Investigate if you are capable of.

  • 1
    10

    Hello Thanuri,

    Here are few more possible acts/groups that may be linked to organised crime.
    .
    Pease investigate 1990 Suwasariya ambulance service gifted by the Indian government to Sri Lanka to see if their ambulances are used to transport Kerala Ganja across Sri Lanka? With special emphasis on its CEO and also his father a former employee of Bank of Ceylon. Guy de Silva? I think.
    .
    Please also investigate the companies: Biomed International pvt ltd (Deal place Colombo 3) and Biomed Scientific pvt ltd (Nawala) to see if they supply outdated chemical reagents to be used in blood and chemical analysing equipments that have been sold to various hospitals across the country both in the government and the private sector, resulting in errorneous blood and other related reports produced by hospital laboratories, eventually leading to possible mismanagement of patients, outcomes of which includes untimely deaths, among others.
    .
    TBC

    • 1
      9

      Inrelation to above two companies please investigate the following personnel.
      .
      The Chairman- Sarath Samarasinghe
      The Managing Director – Chehan Samarasinghe
      The CEO of Biomed International pvt ltd- Dodangollagama
      .
      For their possible involvements with Financial fraud and also links they may have with Ravi Karunanayake inorder to facilitate such financial crimes. MD needs investigation into in relation to selling expired reagents to hospitals.
      .
      Their Chief Financial Officer one Jayantha too requires investigation. A consultant by the name Gamini too.
      .
      Then the below two of their former employees:
      1. Priyantha Dissanayake – former GM marketing in relation to selling expired reagents to hospitals.
      2. Chamindra Dharmapala
      – for providing my personal mobile number that I have shared with the Asst. HR manager when I was an employee of the said company to a third party outside the co. in Putlam to obtain a duplicate SIM so they could track and monitor my personal conversations and activities illegally using the said SIM.
      – for drugging me twice with sleep tablets so i couldn’t drive back home from a holiday in Anuradhapura with my parents and a company sports event held down south.
      – his links to ravi Karunanayake
      .
      TBC

      • 1
        10

        2. Chamindra Dharmapala
        – for providing my personal mobile number that I have shared with the Asst. HR manager when I was an employee of the said company to a third party outside the co. in Putlam to obtain a duplicate SIM so they could track and monitor my personal conversations and activities illegally using the said SIM.
        – for drugging me twice with sleep tablets so i couldn’t drive back home from a holiday in Anuradhapura with my parents and a company sports event held down south.
        – his links to ravi Karunanayake
        .
        Both Priyantha and Chamindra now are employed by DIMO

        • 8
          2

          “Ruchira on Organised Crimes: An Escalating Security Threat To Sri Lanka’s Stability
          In the same vein if Parliamentarian Harsha de Silva’s son and Ajith……..”
          Good, it seems that the moderators have acted.
          Now, I hope this guy’s family too will take some action.

  • 0
    0

    “I and others recently watched a TV broadcast under the heading ‘BADALGA POLICE HAJIARTA BALAN URU MA KAVANDA HADALA’. During the broadcast, I saw BADALGA police attempting to force-feed a pig to a Muslim individual named Hajiar The police officer in question was asking offensive questions, physically hitting Hajiar making derogatory remarks, and demanding gold for his release. Additionally, it was disturbing to hear other police officers referring to Hajiar using the term ‘thambia,’ which is disrespectful. Such actions and language are not only illegal but also deeply unethical. Like (AMATA ) means mother.
    This behavior must be investigated, and appropriate measures should be taken to ensure justice and prevent future occurrences.”An Escalating Security Threat To Sri Lanka’s Stability

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