|ABDUCTION PROBE IN SRI LANKA LEADS TO ARRESTS
Interpol assistance sought
Following prolonged investigations to get to
the bottom of the spate of abductions the law enforcement authorities
have made a breakthrough into the recent spate of abductions,
extortions and killings in Sri Lanka and have made significant
On June 22, 2007, the alleged mastermind behind
the crimes, a former Air Force Officer was arrested by law enforcement
officials. He was allegedly involved in abducting businessmen
for ransom that ran into millions of rupees. Many Sri Lankan businessmen,
mainly Tamils and Muslims have been reportedly abducted over the
past year for ransom.
On June 27, 2007 law enforcement officials made
a major breakthrough in their investigations when they arrested
two policemen and an Air Force sergeant.
Sri Lanka Police had arrested a total of 12 suspects
including four policemen, a former Air Force officer, and an airman,
for alleged involvement in these abductions. The Sri Lanka Criminal
Investigations Department (CID) is looking for several other policemen,
who are alleged to have been involved in the massive extortion
racket, according to official sources of the government.
While these criminal activities were going on
in Colombo and its suburbs, abductions and extortions had also
mushroomed in various parts of the country. In a separate development,
police have arrested two suspects on allegations of extortion
made by a wealthy businessman in Mawanella, in the Central Province.
The suspects had been posing as security services personnel. The
leader of the gang, a Muslim businessman, is absconding, according
to the police.
Furthermore, on July 9, 2007 law enforcement
officers arrested 8 most wanted underworld leaders in the suburbs
of Colombo, for alleged involvement in a massive extortion and
The government of Sri Lanka is firmly committed
to halting abductions, extortions and killings in the country
as well as terrorism and to safeguard the right of the people
to live without fear.
Media spokesman, Deputy Inspector General of
Police (DIG) Jayantha Wickramaratna said on July 11 that the “police
had received no complaints after 18th June on any such abductions”.
He added during the media briefing that the police are looking
for three more suspects, who had fled the country. He said, police
are seeking Interpol assistance to arrest them.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
18 July 2007