Police team probes illegal State land acquisitions

IGP promises tough action against offenders

The police team appointed by Inspector General of Police Mahinda Balasuriya to probe fraudulent land deals has commenced investigations on a few cases of alleged illegal acquisition of State and private land.

Highly placed police sources have confirmed to the Sunday Times that priority has been given to the illegal acquisition of and encroachment on State land. However the police have so far received only a few complaints of private land related frauds.

The sleuths from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the Police Crimes Division which comes under the Deputy Inspector General of Crime have begun to peruse documents which they have received relating to State land acquisitions.

The sleuths have learnt that a few of these cases have been pending in the District Courts for several years. They have also traced deeds and registration documents of the State lands in question which they believe would have been obtained fraudulently.

The Sunday Times learns that the police are also probing into illegal encroachment, acquisition and filling of State land in the Colombo city limits, which were allocated for flood retention.

The IGP appointed the team on instructions received from the Defence Ministry under which the Urban Development Authority has been brought.

The public are requested to inform the special police desk on no. 1933 or to fax the police Deputy Inspector General of Crime on 011-2325391 about unauthorized structures, illegal encroachments and filling of lands.

Police Chief Balasuriya on Wednesday stated that the police will take “stern action” against those who have been involved in land related fraud and welcomed the public to personally complain to him on the matter.

“Every Friday the public can come and meet me and complain about problems they are facing relating to their lands. There are cases where fraudulent deeds and registrations of land are made. There are also cases of encroachment into private land and also cases where certain people forcibly occupy another person’s land. We will not tolerate this but will take stern action,” he said.

“I will be personally overlooking this special police team that has been appointed. We realized, during the floods that affected the City during the past few weeks that there were a number of unauthorized constructions, illegal land filling and illegal occupations of State land. We are going to investigate this and bring the perpetrators to book,” he added.

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