Opposition hand in white van incidents probed
COLOMBO: Police have arrested four suspects, including two
Ministerial Security Division (MSD) personnel, suspected to have been
involved in controversial ‘white van’ incidents.
Police said the four suspects have extorted money from a restaurant
in Dehiwela claiming to be from the security detail of Defence Secretary
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, whereas they were actually attached to the security
contingent of two Opposition politicians.
Police sources said this could be an attempt to defame the Defence
According to the Colombo Crime Division, the owner of a restaurant
had lodged a complaint at the police station Dehiwala that an armed gang
calling themselves to be from the security detail of Defence Secretary
Rajapaksa had attacked his restaurant on July 29. The complainant
further said that the gang had arrived in a white coloured van.
The white van used by the two Ministerial Security Division officers
to extort money from a restaurant in Dehiwela, had been rented from a
private cab service.
Police arrested four suspects including two police officers for not
paying bills totalling to Rs.19,600 and extorting Rs.11,000 from a
restaurant in Dehiwela last week.
“The suspects who had stormed a restaurant at Wasala Road, Dehiwela
refused to pay the bills saying they were security guards of Defence
Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa creating chaos and were arrested by the
Colombo Criminal Division in Kollupitiya,” Police spokesman SSP Ranjith
The suspects had been at the restaurant for over three hours.
The white van used by the suspects were hired from a cab service in
“The suspects were remanded until August 15 and inquiries are
underway”, he added.
The two Ministerial Security Division officers were providing
security for Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and Kurunegala
district MP Akila Kariyawasam.