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Maldives-Sri Lanka to Extend Police Cooperation

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By A Correspondent

In bid to counter the escalating rate of crime in the region, the Maldivian and Sri Lankan defence establishment will be making arrangements to strengthen police cooperation between the two countries.

Senior defence sources told Haveeru that this move is focused on strengthening intelligence sharing, joint investigations and police training between the two countries.

The challenges faced by both countries and plans to strengthen police cooperation was addressed during a meeting Commissioner of the Maldives Police, Abdulla Riyaz had with Sri Lankan Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Colombo on May 11.

Haveeru learns that both officials had discussed on the issue of thwarting threats to national security and the current trend of a Maldivian and Sri Lankan criminal collaboration which has been operating in a large scale.

This move comes in the backdrop of recent investigations revealing, Maldivian drug lords having close ties with Sri Lankan associates who played a key role in the trafficking of narcotics and laundering money for the purpose of trafficking.

Currently a majority of cases which involve nationals of both countries working together are fraud, counterfeiting, money laundering and the trafficking of narcotics.

Another key area which has been given priority is the sharing of intelligence between the two countries, which will enable both nations detect any threat to their internal security.

Previously, Maldives and Sri Lanka had signed a Memorandums of Understanding in intelligence sharing which had enabled the Sri Lankan and Maldivian authorities to make breakthroughs in apprehending key terrorist figures.

“Recently we have seen a large number of Sri Lankan and Maldivian nationals working together and operating organized criminal syndicates. We have seen an increase in the number Sri Lankans being arrested in Maldives and Maldivians being arrested in Sri Lanka for being involved international scale criminal activities,” a senior Sri Lankan defence official stated.

“The Maldivian Police Chief and the Sri Lankan Defence Secretary had spoken on how to combat such crimes that are taking place and ways of conducting joint police investigations which would assist both countries,” he said.

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