Sri Lanka arrests top police watchdog official

Colombo, Sri Lanka | AFP | Sri Lankan detectives Thursday arrested the chief executive at the police watchdog over his alleged involvement in a multi-million dollar gun-running racket and sought international help to trace four other suspects.

Saman Dissanayake, the secretary and the chief executive officer of the National Police Commission, was taken into custody at a state hospital, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said.

He said another key suspect, Damayanthi Jayaratne — a former additional secretary to the ministry of defence — is believed to have fled the country along with three other suspects.

International help will be sought to trace the quartet and bring them back to face justice for transferring state weapons to a private company during the tenure of former president Mahinda Rajapakse, officials said.

At the time of the offence, Dissanayake and Jayaratne were top officials in the defence ministry which was directly controlled by Rajapakse’s younger brother, Gotabhaya.

Gotabhaya, who was the top bureaucrat at the defence ministry, is also accused of defrauding the government of millions of dollars through illegal arms deals.

He faces several other criminal charges and is currently on bail, but according to his lawyers is currently in Singapore recuperating after heart surgery.

Gotabhaya is due in court next week in connection with another embezzlement case. 

Rajapakse lost the January 2015 election to Maithripala Sirisena, who pledged to clean up corruption and end cronyism in the Sri Lankan government.





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