Written by Keshala Dias
28 Feb, 2017 | 10:00 pm
The van believed to be used by gunmen to flee after launching an ambush on the Kalutara prison transport, was found abandoned in the Moragahahena area on February 28 – the day after the shooting.
Five inmates including allegedly notorious underworld figure Aruna Udayantha alias “Samayan” as well as two prisons officers were killed in the ambush which took place on February 28.
The van was located not far from the Moragahahena Junction.
The police K9 unit was called in to the location to locate the suspects and the hounds proceeded to an old rubber factory in the area.It has been revealed that the van in question had been stolen from Maradana over a month ago.
Police said the van belonged to two persons from Colombo and that the van had been stolen after feeding the driver with a meal containing a sleeping drug.
Police added that they recovered seventeen sets of finger-prints from the van.
CCTV cameras also captured footage of the van believed to be used by the suspects to flee.
News 1st correspondets reported that the bodies of the slain inmates were handed over to their relatives on February 28.
The slain inmates were Aruna Udayantha alias ‘Samayan’, Chalana Thilak, Amila Prasanna Sampath, Kelum Priyankara and Suranga Prasanna.
Criminal Lawyer Darshana Kuruppu noted that the Department of Prisons is bound to protect suspects and provide adequate security, especially when a remanded suspect is being transported from the prison to the Court. And that if the Department of Prisons is unable to do so, the Department has the ability of working with the police and obtaining the assistance of Sri Lanka Police.
However, the Prisons Spokesperson Prisons Commissioner Thushara Upuldeniya said that the Prisons Department has provided maximum security for the suspects when being transported from prison to Court and that Aruna Udayantha had threats from other underworld figures, which is why he was transferred from Colombo to Kalutara.
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