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Intelligence officer arrested for abduction of 11 youth given Rs. 500,000 from Navy accounts

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The Fort Magistrate Court yesterday remanded the former Navy intelligence officer who was arrested by the Criminal investigations Department (CID) on Monday in connection with the abduction and disappearance of 11 youth.

Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne ordered former Navy Lieutenant Commander Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi to be remanded until 29 August when he was produced before the Court today. 

Hettiarachchi is the main suspect in the abduction and disappearance of 11 youth in Colombo and suburban areas during 2008-2009. The 11 boys, including six international school students and five university students, were abducted from the Kotahena and Dehiwala areas in order to extort money from parents. However, it is not ascertained yet whether the abducted youth are still living or dead.

Hettiarachchi was also wanted in connection with the 2006 slaying of Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj.

The former Navy intelligence officer was evading arrest since his release on bail last year, and earlier this year, the Fort Magistrate issued a red notice to arrest the suspect. The CID took various initiatives in the past for the arrest of the suspect, also seeking public support. 

He was arrested by the CID when he was at Lotus Road in Colombo last Monday. The Fort Magistrate Court yesterday allowed the CID to detain him for questioning until today. The CID told the Court that the suspect had obtained a national ID card and a passport providing false information, using the false passport to go to Malaysia in April 2017.

He returned to Sri Lanka in March this year. Following his return, Hettiarachchi had worked as a security guard at an estate in the Dompe area.

The CID informed the Court that the suspect had come to Colombo to obtain the rent due for two vehicles he rented to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

The CID further informed the Court that a high ranking Navy officer had given the suspect Rs. 500,000 before he left the country, and that the money had been taken from the accounts of the Navy. Considering all the facts, Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne ordered the Bank of Ceylon to provide all the information regarding the relevant bank account to the CID. The Magistrate also ordered the CID to arrest any official who may have helped the suspect to obtain a false national ID and a passport.


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