Ransom-extorting network busted

Ring leader gave instructions from prison cell
By Damith Wickremasekare

In an undercover operation Moratuwa police busted a ransom-demanding network that had many businessmen, doctors and wealthy people victimised for several months. Four men were arrested and investigations have revealed that the ring leader is Badowita Roshan serving time at the Welikada prison for drug-related crimes.

The victims had not complained for fear of death threats or worse still threats to kidnap their loved ones. Explaining the way the gang operated, police said the ring leader would make a call from his prison cell giving details of the victim to be extorted.

The crime was eventually busted on a tip-off by a businessman who had refused to heed the demand of the extortionists that included lodging in his house or the payment of the full amount of ransom money.
Moratuwa Chief Inspector M.R. Noordeen who headed the undercover operation said that on questioning the suspects it was revealed that in urban areas they would walk in to the houses or business premises of wealthy men and demand the ransom on receiving a call from their leader.

In rural areas they operated differently, with businessmen being compelled to deposit the money in bank accounts. The arrested men were also wanted for shop lifting with video evidence of them committing the crimes.

Nugegoda, Deputy Inspector General I.M. Karunaratne said although many do not complain about these incidents through fear it was important that the public informed the police.

Cops’ private bikes have no licences

By J.A.L. Jayasinghe

Court action is to be initiated against 24 policemen of the Hasalaka station because they did not possess valid riding licences, revenue licences or insurance certificates for their private motorcycles.
The detection was made following an investigation carried out on the orders of Kandy Deputy Inspector General H.N.B. Ambanwela.

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