ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s State Intelligence Service is assisting police battle organized crime and drug cartels, a Senior Police official told media in Colombo today.
The Police Spokesman, Senior Superintendent Jaliya Senaratne said this has been done on the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Senaratne told reporters that Intelligence Officers assisted in setting a trap to nab the Negombo Prison Superintendent Anuruddha Sampayo in Kurunegala earlier today.
Sampayo is wanted in connection with a case where convicted drug lords allegedly had been provided refrigerators, microwave ovens, Rice Cookers and other luxuries in their cells in the Negombo Prison.
The warrant for his arrest was issued several weeks ago, Senaratne said.
It was not clear whether Sampayo surrendered or was arrested by the Police team.
A video released by the TV news service News1st showed Sampayo dressed in a shirt and tie getting into what looked like a Police SUV and telling the media that he had surrendered.
He said he was being framed and was handing himself in because “Minister Johnnie” (caretaker Cabinet Minister Johnston Fernando) was being blamed for his failure to surrender.
He also said he was “waiting for the Appeal Court decision” a reference to his petition to have his arrest warrant stayed to the Court. The courts rejected the petition.
He said that former Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Rajith Senaratne also had been in hiding.
Sampayo also called on the President and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to save him as he had supported them and voted for them.
— Newsfirst.lk Sri Lanka (@NewsfirstSL) August 2, 2020
Senaratne said information about Sampayo had been received by police on May 26 and within a week a CID team had begun investigations.
He went on to say that the detectives were also investigating the assets of the suspected Prison officers to see whether they had accumulated funds and property illegally.
The Negombo Magistrate had issued warrants to arrest Sampayo and three others. They are Chief Jailor of the Negombo Prison Upali Sarath Bandara, Second Tier Jailor Nishantha Senaratne and Jailor Prasad Kalinga Kaluaggala. They have already surrendered to the police earlier and are in remand custody.
Last week in an unprecedented move the Attorney-General’s Department held a press conference and questioned why the police could not locate Sampayo 12 days after the warrant was issued for his arrest.
Deputy Solicitor-General Dileepa Peries urged the Acting Police Chief to explain why they could not find the main accused in the case. (Colombo, August 3, 2020)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana