CID gets a lead: Extortionist gang done in - Dankotuwa Special
From Ceylon Today - BY PREMALAL WIJERATNE
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has taken into custody five suspects in connection with the five charred bodies found in a modern van, discovered on the Koshenawatte middle road, which runs across Irabadagama, Bujjangpola in Dankotuwa.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) had handed over investigations into this incident which took place on the 11th, to the CID.
Following through, a special team of Police officers of the CID had gone to the area and taken into custody five suspects and brought them back to Colombo for questioning. During questioning the CID had managed to uncover information regarding the incident.
A private contract had been obtained by a small scale businessman to provide required services to a factory located in an area close to Pannala. A group of thugs, who had gone every six months to extort a sum of Rs 5,000 from this person, had been killed thus according to investigations of the CID.
This gang of extortionists had come to meet the relevant businessman previously and threatened him and asked for the extortion money due from previous months as well which included a sum of approximately Rs 70,000. The relevant suspect businessman who had realized that there was no way of escaping from this group of thugs had entertained them and provided them with six bottles of liquor and left them, saying that he was going to get their money and to wait for him near the Makandura Fair. The extortionist gang who had trusted the businessman and were intoxicated had waited at the assigned spot. Then the suspect businessman and a few others had arrived there and attacked the five suspects with iron poles and killed them then and there.
Then they had put the bodies into the van and driven it to an isolated area in Koshenawatte and set fire to the bodies as well as the van. The Police had discovered this information during their investigations. The CID suspected that among the dead members of the gang of thugs was 'Navy Kapila' and they had found out that the persons who had arrived in the van had been identified as 'Sooppuwa' and 'Neina'. It was also discovered that two persons in the van did not have such nicknames and as a result the CID was facing a serious problem of identifying the victims. This was stated by a top official at Police Headquarters. These bodies were so charred that it was near impossible to identify them when they were brought to the Negombo Hospital Mortuary the day before yesterday, according to a Police officer on duty at the hospital.
The wife of Navy Kapila who had been in charge of the burnt van had lodged a complaint at the Pannala Police that her husband was missing.
During investigations carried out into the number of the van, it was revealed that this vehicle belonged to a Leasing Company in Kollupitiya, Colombo, Police said.
Police also said that there was no evidence or anything that would enable them to identify the charred bodies either on the bodies itself or inside the van either. It was also revealed that the person named Navy Kapila had worked on contract basis for the Leasing Company and that he was not in the habit of paying for the vehicles he obtained from the company and that he was engaged in seizing vehicles from persons who did not pay relevant instalments on leasing transactions.
The CID is also carrying out investigations into whether the blood stains found at a short distance away from where the burnt van was found had resulted when the dead bodies were being brought there or whether the persons had been assaulted again while at this place. Further investigations are being carried out by a special team of police officers under an Assistant Superintendent of Police of the CID.