Law enforcement officials are expected to protect and serve, and arrest those who don’t play by the rules. Sometimes, though, even the officials can find themselves on the receiving end of the law’s wrath, and eight police officers in Sri Lanka are about to learn what that means, as they have been caught providing assistance to prisoners arrested for illegal gambling and will now pay for their actions.
According to Hiru News, the eight officers, one of who is the Officer-In-Charge of the Divisional Anti-Corruption Unit (DACU) with the Chilaw Police Headquarters, have been interdicted for their involvement in arranging the release of a group of suspects who had been busted for running an illegal gambling operation out of a hotel in Wennappuwa. 20 people were supposedly involved in the operation, but officers only arrested nine. The others were allowed to leave, instead of being taken downtown by the officers.
The inspector attached to the DACU, a police sergeant, five constables and a constable driver are all now looking at charges for their involvement. They were found to have shirked their responsibilities thanks to an investigation by the police force after a tip was given to the office of the Nattandiya Assistant Superintendent of Police.
That investigation revealed that the officers involved had reportedly extorted money from the suspects. They also allegedly took money that had been in possession of individuals at the scene when the officers carried out the police action on September 6.
Sri Lanka has worked hard to clean up the country and rid it of illegal gambling. It’s a difficult task that can easily be described as comparable to chopping off the head of a Hydra – lose one and three more appear. Still, most law enforcement officers are willing to go the extra mile and perform their duties in accordance with the laws.
That conduct has its rewards, but it also has its drawbacks. This past July, police raided an illegal gambling establishment in Kalutara and neither the operators nor the gamblers were at all happy. Three officers raided the facility, but were attacked by almost everyone present. Two of the police officers wound up in the hospital as a result of the assault and everyone, except for one individual, got away.