Asia - Pacific

Sri Lanka widens net over recruiters for Russian military, nabs 2 ex-soldiers

Total of 4 people, including former army officers, detained in Sri Lanka over sending war veterans to Russia to fight Ukraine

Riyaz ul Khaliq  | 09.05.2024 - Update : 09.05.2024
Sri Lanka widens net over recruiters for Russian military, nabs 2 ex-soldiers


Sri Lanka has arrested two former army soldiers, including a general, for recruiting for the Russian military amid war with Ukraine, according to local media.

This came a day after neighboring India made four arrests in a similar case.

Police in the South Asian island nation busted the human trafficking racket which sent “Sri Lankan war veterans to fight as mercenaries in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine,” the Newswire website reported on Thursday.

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of Sri Lanka made the arrests of the suspects, aged 67 and 50, and the former army major general is said to be the mastermind of the racket.

The two are residents of Kurunegala, the capital of North Western Province.

Last month, the CID had made two arrests, including a former army major general, for their alleged involvement in a similar human trafficking case.

Sri Lanka’s Defense Ministry confirmed that several Sinhalese war veterans died or sustained injuries in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

They were recruited as members of mercenary groups.

Similar cases have been reported in India, as well as in Nepal, and many Nepalese nationals have died in the war.

Russia and Ukraine are in war since February 2022 during which tens of hundreds of people have been killed and injured. Hundreds of thousands have been forced to migrate out of Ukraine.

People from many countries have joined rival armies in the war.

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