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13 September 2023, 7:51am
Media Release

AFP supporting Sri Lanka Police’s efforts to combat people smuggling

Editor’s note: Images are available via Hightail

The AFP is supporting Sri Lanka Police (SLP) in combatting people smuggling through the provision of a new office, and training.

The new Trincomalee office on Sri Lanka’s east coast was commissioned by the AFP and last month officially handed over to SLP’s Human Trafficking, Smuggling Investigations and Maritime Crime Investigations Division (HTSIMCID) by the AFP Senior Officer posted in Sri Lanka, Superintendent Rob Wilson.

The office, which has new IT equipment and furniture, provides modern facilities for the SLP’s local workforce. It also provides residential accommodation for the SLP officer in charge of Trincomalee.

AFP members recently delivered a training program to 30 SLP officers in Trincomalee that included theory and practical lessons in searching, seizing and exhibiting evidence, which could be applied to people smuggling investigations.

AFP Superintendent Wilson said the AFP had been working with Sri Lankan authorities for more than a decade to combat people smuggling operations.

“Sri Lankan-based people smugglers continue to try to exploit vulnerable members of the community in a bid to encourage highly dangerous and illegal maritime ventures to Australia,” Supt Wilson said.

“The new office provides SLP with a significant capability boost and the training delivered will assist officers to effectively target people smuggling operations and prevent ventures from occurring.

“These illegal maritime ventures affect both the Australian and Sri Lankan communities, and we will continue to work closely alongside SLP to detect, deter and disrupt people smuggling ventures that puts lives at risk.”

SLP HTSIMCID Director Samarakoon Banda said the SLP was proud of its relationship with the AFP, which dated back to 2009.

“We have been able to achieve greater operational success by working with the AFP to provide our officers with more training and the equipment they need to undertake their investigations,” Director Banda said.

“As a result of the AFP’s support our officers now have the knowledge and skills to handle a broader range of investigations, in particular, illegal maritime ventures.”

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