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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Mervyn’s secretary, 2 cops, remanded for extortion

Three senior police officers transferred
Suspect left minister’s staff on Thursday – Press Secy

By Lal Gunasekera

Three top police officials have been transferred with immediate effect over their failure to take action against extortionists.

Officers of the Colombo Crime Division on Sunday arrested Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva’s Parliament Affairs Secretary Jayasena Mudiyanselage Buddhi and three others, including two policemen, for an alleged attempt to extort money from a Tamil businessmen to the tune of five million rupees in Grandpass.

All suspects were produced in Courts yesterday and remanded till April 18.

The Secretary had arrived in a vehicle belonging to the ministry with two policemen in uniform to collect the protection money when they were arrested.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that the two policemen had obtained permission from their superiors to go with the main suspect.

The Colombo Crime Division arrested the two policemen, the Secretary and another person.

DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara was appointed the new DIG Western Province (North Range), Ananda Wijesuriya SSP (Kelaniya Division) and Mangala Dehideniya Peliyagoda HQI.

The officers who were transferred have been accused of not taking action against the extortionists at the Peliyagoda Fish Market.

Police Headquarters had to deploy the CCD and Special Task Force officials to curtail the operations of the extortionists at the Fish market.

The police officers who were transferred are DIG Western Province (North Range), A. Dayananda, SSP (Kelaniya Division) Kithsiri Ganegama and Peliyagoda HQI S. Perera.

Contacted for comment, Minister Mervyn Silva’s Press Secretary told The Island that the main suspect, now in remand, had left the minister’s staff on Thursday. He said there was a conspiracy to politically destroy his minister. He said Minister Silva had ordered the police to arrest anyone suspected of involvement in extortion. However, when asked to name the so-called ex-secretary to the minister, the Press Secretary refused to answer our query and cut off the line.

The next question we wanted to pose to him was: “if the secretary concerned had left the ministerial staff on Thursday, how could he have used his official vehicle and influenced the police to release two constables to accompany him on his extortion mission two days later, on Sunday?” The Island hopes either Minister De Silva or his press secretary will answer this question.

The Island


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