DIG Vaas Gunawardena arrested

DIG Vaas Gunawardena arrested

June 10, 2013   10:40 pm

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DIG Vaas Gunawardena has been arrested by the CID in connection with the abduction and murder of a businessman in Dompe, the police spokesman SP Buddhika Siriwardena said.

Bambalapitiya-based businessman Mohamed Siyam was abducted and murdered in the Dompe area on May 22.

Following investigations conducted into the incident, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on June 06 arrested Sub-Inspector Lakmini Bamunusinghe, attached to the office of the DIG Western Province (North), along with three Police Constables (PCs) serving in the DIG’s special unit.

Upon interrogating the arrested police officers, the CID uncovered information regarding the DIG’s alleged involvement in the businessman’s murder and recorded a statement from DIG Vaas Gunawardena on the same day.

He was grilled by the CID for around 5 hours before being released, and due to the vast amount of information uncovered further investigations had speeded up. The DIG was expected to be taken in for questioning once again the following day (07), however the CID had decided to postpone it.

According to police sources, the reason for this may have been due to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), N.K. Illangakoon attending a conference abroad, and further action was expected to be taken upon his return to the country on June 09.

The victim, M.M. Mohamed Siyam, a father of three, closely associated with several Ministers and MPs while he made a living by importing and selling footwear.

A friend of the victim named Fausdeen, who was also involved in this business, is said to have owed millions of rupees to Siyam and had allegedly been engaged in various underhand work in order to take over the business.  

On May 22 Fausdeen had visited Siyam’s residence in Sagara Road in Bambalapitiya to discuss business affairs and both of them had later left for dinner at a restaurant in Galle Road-Colombo.

Siyam had not returned home while Fausdeen himself had proceeded to lodge a complaint with the police claiming that Siyam had dropped him off at his home in Wellawatta and is missing since.

Investigations had made little progress until a close relative of the victim, Mushtaq had made a personal request to the President, when they had met during the opening of the Gangarama Vesak Zone, who in turn instructed the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) to intensify investigations.

Siyam’s vehicle which was found abandoned in Kandewatta Road, Nugegoda since his disappearance on the night of May 22 had been in the custody of the Mirihana Police.

It is said that although the vehicle was brought to the police station on May 23, no one had known that it belonged to Siyam and this was uncovered by the CCD.

After the CCD was informed of the location where the vehicle was found, officers obtained footage recorded in a security camera at a house near that exact location, showing that the vehicle was driven there and parked by none other than Siyam’s business partner Fausdeen.

After this revelation, the CCD on May 30 arrested Fausdeen, who following extensive interrogation, admitted that the murder was planned by him and carried out on a Rs 3 million contract.

He revealed that the contract was accepted by an individual known as ‘Chutte’ in Pettah who is known to associate with many high-ranking police officers and engages in other illegal activities and that the contract was executed by his “police friends”.

‘Chutte’, who was arrested on the same day also revealed the details of the involvement of police officers in the murder and how the money was split between them.   

After the IGP was informed regarding the progress made in the case and the involvement of policemen, he handed over the case to the CID, after possibly considering the seriousness of the implications.

The Criminal Investigations Department following further investigations into the involvement of police officers in the contract murder has arrested DIG Vaas Gunawardena, a well known officer who has served in various parts of the country.   

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