Written by Zulfick Farzan
02 Aug, 2020 | 4:37 pm
Colombo (News 1st); Wanted Negombo Prison Superintendent Anurudhdha Sampayo was arrested in Kurunegala on Sunday (02) said the Police Media Spokesperson.
The Negombo Magistrate’s Court had issued a warrant for the arrest of Sampayo on the 22nd of July, and recently the Attorney General’s Department raised many concern over the delay in arresting the suspect.
Anurudhdha Sampayo is 01 of the 04 Negombo Prison Officers on whom the Negombo Magistrate’s Court issued arrest warrants for various charges on malpractice inside the Negombo Prison.
One of the charges filed against the 04 suspects is fabricating false evidence to prepare forged documents.
The officers are the Interdicted Negombo Prison Superintendent Anuradha Sampayo, Chief Jailor Sarath Bandara, Acting Jailor Nishantha Senaratne and Second-tier Jailor Kalinga Kaluaggala.
Attorney General Dappual De Livera on the 22nd of July instructed the Director of the Criminal Investigations Department to obtain a warrant and arrest the said officers, and thereafter the Negombo Magistrate’s Court issued the warrants for the arrest of the suspects, on the very day and the Magistrate had stressed to enforce the warrants immediately.
The warrants were to be served and completed on the 29th of July and on the 27th of July, the 04th suspect in the case Second-tier Jailer Kalinga Kaluaggala had surrendered to the Criminal Investigations Department.
On the 29th of July, when the Attorney General’s Department went back to the Negombo Magistrate’s Court, they found two other men in the dock with the 04th suspect in the case, and moments after the matter was called up, an Attorney-at-Law stepped forward and claimed the two men were Head Jailer Sarath Bandara and First-tier Jailer Sarath Nishantha, the second and third suspects in the case.
With the arrest of Anurudhdha Sampayo all 04 suspects wanted by court are in custody.
However, on the 29th of July when the matter was called up, Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris reprimanded Sri Lanka Police for its failure to locate and arrest the suspect, despite the warrant being issued 07 days earlier.
“If the 87,000 strong police force cannot mobilize to locate and arrest an ordinary suspect, what is the message we are sending to the general public as a whole,” further questioned the Deputy Solicitor General on that day at the Negombo Magistrate’s Court.
EXTORTION OF PRISON OFFICERS
Deputy Solicitor General Peiris speaking at the 01st ever media briefing organized by the Attorney General’s Department in its 136-year history said, according to the investigations there are some prison officers who paid bribes to the Prison Superintendent in order to save their jobs.
He added, criminals are asked to pay either Rs.50,000/- or Rs.100,000/- to be allowed to use their mobile phones.
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
The Criminal Investigations Department launched an investigation into the corrupt activity carried out by incarcerated criminals held at the Negombo Prison with the assistance of officers attached to the Negombo Prison, as well to generating illegal revenue and engaging in drug trafficking.
The Department of Prisons which also supported the investigation in a surprise raid on the 13th of February 2020 discovered 66 grams of heroin, 11 grams of cannabis, 414 cigarettes, 400 grams of tobacco, Rs. 700/- in cash, a USB device, 08 mobile phones, 17 SIMs, 12 hands-free devices, 08 Chargers and 02 card-readers from the L Ward at the Negombo Prison.
However, the most important discovery made during that raid was the Digital Electric Scale.
Three months later, on the 11th of May 2020 the Department of Prisons raided three particular cells at the Negombo Prison and to their astonishment, the officers discovered a latest two-door refrigerator, luxury beds and bedding, an electric gas oven, an electric kettle, a large-sized ice box filled with various food items, body-building enhancement products, a large national flag, expensive sauces & jams as well as enhancement products.
Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris speaking at the very first press conference organized by the Attorney General’s Department of Sri Lanka in its 136-year history said, key players involved in drug trafficking and notorious underworld figures were held in these particular cells.
He went on to note, the Attorney General thereafter decided to deploy officers to study the investigative material and they discovered the Superintendent of the Negombo Prison, the Head Jailer, a 01st Tier Jailer and a 02nd Tier Jailer were involved in these misdeeds and there was sufficient evidence to file charges against them.
DSG Peiris stressed this is just the tip of the iceberg, adding a large-scale investigation is to be launched on these events.
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