A woman who collected money from persons to secure the release of their next of kin in detention, has been arrested in Chilaw by the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD).
Director- CCD, Superintendent of Police (SP) D.R.L. Ranaweera told the Sunday Times that the initial breakthrough came after a group of residents in Mullaitivu complained to the Army that they had paid money for information about missing persons.
He said that the Grama Sevaka in the Silavathurai area had received a call from a woman who claimed to be from the State Intelligence Service, and that, if they deposited Rs 50,000 each into a bank account, they would receive information about their location of detention.
“We found that the woman had collected over Rs 6 million from families in Trincomalee, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Jaffna and the upcountry, promising to provide information”, he said. “We were looking for her for about one-and-a-half years. Eventually we able to track her down in a house in Chilaw”, he said.
He said investigations revealed that the operation had been led by man who is in custody at Bogambara prisons for a drug related offence.
“He also used the woman to collect ransom from jewellery shop owners with connections to LTTE cadres in custody, who had purportedly confessed to the jewellery shop owners’ involvement in LTTE activities, and threatening them with exposure for non payment,” SP Ranaweera said.
He said persons who have paid money could complain to the CCD.