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'Cogent evidence' against former navy spokesperson - Sri Lankan police

Sri Lanka's police spoke publicly this week about what they described as "cogent evidence" against the former navy spokesperson over the disappearance of 11 Tamil youths in 2008. 

Speaking at a press conference, the police spokesperson qas quoted by Ceylon Today as saying, "on 28 May, 2009 Former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda submitted a written complaint against his Chief Security Officer, Lieutenant Commander Sampath Munasighe."

"Munasinghe's cabin revealed four different NICs, a mobile phone, one passport belonging to one of the owners of the NICs, 450 live ammunition and promissory notes worth over Rs 10 lakhs."

"The CID then commenced investigations in June 2009, and several navy personnel, came forward with more information regarding this racket. Further investigations had revealed the involvement of Lieutenant Sampath Hettiarachchi."

"Cogent evidence in the form of civilian testimonies which involve testimonies from the friends and family of the kidnapped, testimonies from naval personnel who were against this practice, records taken from 15 mobile phones, tower triangulation data and telephone records have been collected," he said, adding "There has also been evidence that the vehicle belonging to one of the kidnapped individuals was also used after the number plates were changed to Navy number plates."

"A mobile phone, that had been discovered, belonged to one Mike Hogan, a British national who was then in Sri Lanka to recruit one of the kidnapped to his team prior to his kidnapping. Investigations have uncovered that Hogan too was threatened and his mobile phone seized by the suspects. However, Police said that Hogan was able to identify his mobile phone amidst the mounting evidence.

"Both, Sampath Munasighe and Sampath Hettiarachchi operated under the commands of D.K.P. Dassanayake, and there is clear evidence against him." 

The police spokesperson said the abductions occurred in view of financial gain. 

Commodore D K P Dassanayake was arrested last Wednesday, before being released on bail later in the week.