ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday May 4, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 49

BOI chief’s casino men in scuffle with judge

By Damith Wickremasekara

A magistrate was allegedly manhandled and abused in Kalutara on Friday evening by a gang of security officers employed in a casino operated by Board of Investment Chairman (BOI) Dhammika Perera. Seven men, including a former airman, are reported to have blocked the path of Kalutara Magistrate Anura Seneviratne while he was on his way home along the Kalido beach in Kalutara when the incident took place, reports said.

The path was obstructed preventing the magistrate from proceeding towards his house and the magistrate had wanted the gang’s vehicle moved away.“We do not care whether you are the magistrate or not. We will take the vehicle away when we want,” one of the security guards who were reported to be consuming liquor on the side of the beach, had said.

Soon after the magistrate had informed his residence, police and home guards deployed in the residence had come to the assistance of the magistrate. The former airman had attempted to grab the weapon of the police officer, it is alleged.

However later when more policemen arrived, the security men had claimed that they were bodyguards of Dhammika Perera and that even the vehicle was his. Police arrested all seven persons and produced them before a magistrate who remanded the suspects until May 13.

Senior Superintendent Ravi Wijegunawardena told The Sunday Times that the charges against them would include misbehavior under the influence of liquor, attempting to grab the weapon of a police officer and interfering with the duties of the police.

He said that there has been no complaint that the magistrate had been assaulted. John Steave, General Manager of Bellagio Casino, where six of the seven persons remanded are employed, told The Sunday Times that all six of them had been immediately sacked.

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