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Anuradhapura sex ring:

Hotelier, seven remanded till August 11

A well-known hotelier and seven suspects, including four female sex workers, arrested in connection with a major prostitution ring based in Anuradhapura, were remanded till August 11 by Anuradhapura Magistrate Ruchira Weliwatta pending medical reports and further investigations.

A police officer operating undercover as a prospective client busted the ring and uncovered an organised racket that has been carried out through newspaper advertisements and over mobile phones.

Anuradhapura Police said the prostitutes were provided to customers in the cover of a Friendship Club over the past two years.

The Special Operations Unit began investigations on the Surabi Mithuru Havula friendship club in Anuradhapura city.

According to Police Sergeant Alosius who is conducting inquiries, a person from Anuradhapura had complained in writing to the authorities with regard to a prostitution ring under the cover of a friendship club.

The speciality in this case is the use of mobile telephones with video cameras and tape recording facilities were utilised by Police officers to nab the culprits.

Police Sergeant Alosius along with Police Constable Roshan acted as the decoy first inquired into an advertisement appeared in a Sinhala weekend newspaper in June with information relating to Surabi Mithuru Hawula which undertook to match female friends of all walks of life with the choice of the members joining the network.

In the advertisement two telephone numbers with the names of two females had been indicated for details.

Sergeant Alosius and decoy Roshan armed with two mobile phones contained voice recording facilities contacted one female and after a few calls were able to get further information.

To get enroled as a member the client must deposit Rs. 550 at a bank and the receipt was to be faxed to a number provided by the woman who called herself Imalka.

Roshan the decoy fulfilled all the basic requirements and was registered under membership number 7949. He was given three contact mobile numbers if he needed their services.

All telephone conversations had been recorded through the mobile phones.

Arrangements were later made to meet a female partner at the new bus stand in Anuradhapura for Rs. 2,000. Roshan met her at the rendezvous point and after paying her an advance of Rs. 1,000 marked by Police proceeded to a certain hotel in a three-wheeler, which was stopped at Dahaiyagama junction by a team of Police officers headed by SI Somaratne of the Special Operations Unit.

Later the Police found that the particular woman had been a prostitute who had been given a one year prison sentence suspended for three years for prostitution.

On a special search warrant, the Police raided a place close to the new bus stand at Anuradhapura which had been registered at Nuwaragam Palatha (East) Divisional Secretariat as a business enterprise dealing with marriage proposals and counselling.

Police took into custody a well-known hotelier in Anuradhapura along with four females present at the premises on suspicion for running a brothel under the cover of a friendship club.

Police seized a computer, five mobile phones, two citylink phones, 15 SIM cards and a fax machine found in the building.

According to Police the particular businessman has earned a lot of money from this Mithuru Havula business during last two years.

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