The Final Hours of Madush
By Keerthi Mendis
Another powerful underworld figure, involved in organised crimes, Makandure Madush was killed at dawn yesterday (20) in an attack where he was targeted by an unidentified group.
This was when he, accompanied by a posse of officers from the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD), went to the Lakshitha housing complex at Maligawatte, based on information given by him, to take into custody a stock of heroin which was hidden there.
It is impossible to say how many crimes Makandure Madush had committed. In addition to organised crimes and murders he took into his own hands the drug network and came into the reckoning with the murder of Danny Hiththetiya, a powerful politician of Matara.
From that day onwards, he languished in prisons and got his henchmen to carry out murders and was punished with a prison sentence for having been involved in a conspiracy to assassinate the former President too.
The killing of a group of persons, including Ranale Samayang, another member of the underworld, by attacking a prison bus at Ethanamadala in Kalutara, murdering a person named Kos Malli by beheading him and dumping the head in the Hulftsdorp area, were carried out on the instructions of Makandure Madush while he was living in Dubai.
Due to such horrendous crimes, a Red Notice was issued through Interpol to capture Madush wherever he was seen, but he was cornered by the Dubai Police while he was participating in a live drug party together with friends.
Madush, who had lived a luxurious life in Dubai for about five years, was handed over to this country by the Police of Dubai on a request. When he arrived in here, he was taken into custody by the Criminal Investigation Department, where he was detained and questioned, for about one-and-a-half years on detention orders.
Meanwhile, the Colombo Crimes Division too had commenced investigations into some crimes committed by Madush. Several persons connected to these crimes were being detained and questioned by the CCD on detention orders and the Crimes Division officers needed to obtain statements from Madush for those inquiries.
The CCD had launched investigations by then, even without Makandure Madush. By this time, the Colombo Crimes Division had discovered that the attack on the prison bus at Ethanamadala, Kalutara and killing of Ranale Samayang and Prison Officers, was Makandure Madush’s doing. Therefore, the Crimes Division needed to question Madush and record his statements.
After abducting the individual named ‘Kos Malli’ and tying him to a tree, the criminals involved in it had videoed the scene on their mobile phones and shown it to Madush who was in Dubai. Later, on Madush’s orders, ‘Kos Malli’ was beheaded and his head brought to Colombo, where it was dumped. Madush was required for questioning in connection with this crime too.
Meanwhile, the Colombo Crimes Division had launched another investigation. A person named Aabrew, who was in their custody and was being questioned, had revealed some information. “Sir….two boxes of arms have been buried in Ahungalle. There is a T-56 weapon too.”
Officers took Aabrew to Ahungalle to take into custody these two boxes of weapons. However, even though the place mentioned by Aabrew was searched, the boxes of weapons were not found. Later, when a person named Pushpakumara was taken into custody, regarding that and detained and questioned, this is what he told the Police. “Sir….Madush Aiya from Dubai called and told me that a friend of his will come in a van and to give the two boxes of weapons, which were buried, to him. Then I gave that person the boxes. He took them and went. However, I do not know who he was and where he was from.”
The Colombo Crimes Division needed to question Madush regarding Pushpakumara’s statement too. The obstruction to questioning him was the fact that Madush was at that time in the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department.
By that time one-and-half years had passed with Madush in the custody of the CID. By 26 October, the detention orders had to be renewed and Madush had to be produced in Court. The Director of the CCD, who realised this, made a written request from the Acting Inspector General of Police. The request was to hand over Makandure Madush for questioning to the CCD.
The Director of the CCD wrote to the Ministry as well to obtain permission to detain Madush, since it was necessary to detain him for a further questioning.
Acting IGP C. D. Wickremaratne granted approval to the written request. Accordingly, the Director of the CCD informed the DIG in charge of the CID to conclude investigations in connection with Makandure Madush and hand him over to his division.
Therefore, on 16 October, Makandure Madush was handed over to the CCD by the CID. Officer-in-Charge of the Colombo Crimes Division, Chief Inspector of Police Anslem de Silva, as was the proper procedure, brought Madush from the CID to the CCD located at Dematagoda.
Arrangements were made to keep Madush, who was taken there, isolated in a separate cell under strong protection.
From then onwards, the officers ensured that all facilities granted to remanded suspects, were given to Madush. Meanwhile, Madush was questioned. The responsibility of questioning Madush had been assigned to Inspector of Police Nishantha.
By this time, the Colombo Crimes Division had arrested, at the Airport, four individuals who were attempting to flee to Dubai and was in the process of questioning them on detention orders. Among them was a close associate of both Angoda Lokka and Madush, named Subesiri.
When Subsesiri was questioned, a few days before Madush was brought to the CCD, he had given the officers some important information. That is, at a secret place in Angoda, there were firearms and heroin, hidden. During investigations conducted on this tip-off, CCD officers discovered 42 kilograms of Heroin, three T-56 weapons together with 170 bullets, five magazines and a 9 mm pistol as well as some bullets used in it.
Subsequent to being detained for 72 days, Subesiri revealed that this heroin and firearms had been hidden with the knowledge of Angoda Lokka and Madush.
Based on this investigation, officers who suspected that there could be more heroin asked Madush about it.
On this occasion Madush told Inspector of Police Nishantha that another stock of heroin, which belonged to him, had been hidden by Subesiri elsewhere. Later the Inspector of Police got down Subesiri and questioned him in the presence of Madush.
Later, Subesiri told the CCD officers where another stock of heroin, belonging to Madush, was hidden. Accordingly, the officers who accompanied him to a garage in Kotikawatte found a stock of heroin worth about 100 million rupees there. It was of significance that this stock of heroin was taken into custody even before 24 hours lapsed since Madush was handed over to the CCD.
Makandure Madush was being detained in the Colombo Crimes Division without any influence at all. He acted very cordially with the officers too. Therefore, it was easy for Inspector of Police Nishantha to question him and elicit information.
Accordingly, IP Nishantha continuously questioned Madush. This was to see whether another stock of heroin or firearms could be discovered.
“Sir…there are top persons, businessmen who are connected to this and it is not only me who is engaged in this business. I can help you apprehend them. I can help you sirs, as well. But then you do not trust me.”
The Police Officer was flabbergasted over what Madush said.
The Inspector of Police asked Madush what he required for that purpose.
“Sir…. Get me a mobile phone. I will speak on that and then tell you where the goods are.”
IP Nishantha informed the Director of the CCD about Madush’s request. Assistant Superintendent of Police Neville de Silva was someone with in-born talent for this type of investigation. Accordingly, the Director summoned him to his office room and discussed the request made by Madush. He then informed Senior DIG Deshabandu Tennakoon to find out whether permission could be granted to fulfil this request.
On his advice, using a new SIM card bought in the name of IP Nishantha, Madush was able to use the mobile phone. Every call was made by Madush in the presence of the Inspector of Police. All days were noted down by the Inspector of Police.
Subsequent to making several such calls, Madush began continuously calling one of these telephone numbers only.
“Sir… I am not trying to lie. I did a small thing and I will show you. See what my game is sir. Then sir, all of you will begin to trust me,” Madush said in the presence of the Police officers and they believed his story.
That same night, a call was received on the mobile phone, which was in the possession of IP Nishantha. It was from an associate of Madush. Nishantha handed over the phone to Madush.
“Is everything ok…were the goods brought?” Madush asked the person on the phone.
“Yes, everything is ok. Where do I bring them?”
“To the flat at Maligawatte.”
“To the house where Rauff lived in.”
“Where is that?”
“It is on the tenth floor.”
“Ok. Ok. Malli…Ok…”
Rauff was a person who had been killed by Kanjipani Imran’s gang. He was shot dead where he was living, on the tenth floor of the apartment complex. As Madush said, the stock of heroin had been brought to Rauff’s house.
Once the information provided by Madush was conveyed to top officers, Director of the Colombo Crimes Division Janaka Nandana, who summoned Assistant Superintendent of Police Neville de Silva, proceeded to give him instructions. This was under the supervision of the Senior DIG.
Accordingly, a team comprising 16 Police officers was picked for the raid. However, they had their doubts. The Police did not believe Madush’s story. Some said that Madush could be misleading the Police. That is because they knew very well what Madush was like. Madush was not an insignificant small person but had an understanding regarding the Police, which was one of the reasons.
Therefore, senior officers decided that it would be suitable to send Sub-Inspector of Police Dunusinghe to the apartment complex, prior to the operation being conducted. Thus, Sub-Inspector Dunusinghe and another Police officer were sent to the apartment complex. They were requested to inspect the relevant floor and inform the situation to the CCD.
The two Police officers went to the apartment complex in the middle of the night. The entire area was enveloped in silence. The officers reached Rauff’s apartment on the tenth floor. The apartment was not locked. However, there was no sign that anyone was living there. Slowly, the officers entered the apartment while following protective procedures.
When each house was being inspected, Sub-Inspector of Police Dunusinghe realised that there were several packages of heroin inside. He informed his chief about this. Consequently, Officer-in-Charge of the Crimes Division, Anslem, Chief Inspector of Police, Susantha and Inspector of Police Nishantha, together with a group of 16 others, together with Makandure Madush, prepared to leave to take into custody the stock of heroin.
By that time, it was about 2.45 a.m. The officers got Madush also to get into their vehicle.
“Sir… you still do not trust me. I am doing this so that it will create some trust in you, regarding me,” Madush muttered under his breath. It was about 2.53 a.m. when the vehicles carrying the Police officers and Madush left the CCD.
The Police vehicles, which arrived in Dematagoda, moved towards Maligawatte. There was no excitement or congestion on the road. Off and on a vehicle passed by. Apart from that no person was visible on the road.
By 3.05 a.m. the officers reached the Maligawatte Apartment Complex. Based on the instructions of the Officer-in-Charge several were deployed as security on the nearby road. The rest of the group prepared to go up to the tenth floor of the apartment complex. Sub-Inspector of Police Dunusinghe remained on the tenth floor.
Since it was dawn everyone felt a chill in the air. The environment was calm and quiet. The officers prepared to climb the staircase.
“Sir…give me some water.” Madush would never have thought that, that would have been his last request. On the orders of the OIC, he was allowed to drink some water. With that the officers, climbing the stairs, reached the second floor and had just stepped on to it. The entire area vibrated with the sound of gunfire and a shower of bullets. Officers took protective action. At the same time, they began shooting in the direction from where the shower of bullets had come. Madush was in fear. However, he did not attempt to escape or run upstairs. When a bullet hit him, Madush collapsed to the floor.
The Police officers also began shooting in every direction. Amidst the attack a hand grenade was also lobbed. The entire area was covered in smoke. In the meantime, it was possible to see motorbikes moving here and there.
Everything went back to calm and quiet within five minutes. Madush was lying on the floor bleeding profusely. Blood was also seen dripping from a wound on a Police Officer’s leg. Officers took immediate steps to take the injured to the Colombo National Hospital. However, by then Madush had left this world. This was due to the fatal gunshot he received to his head.
Once the incident was reported to the Colombo Crimes Division, Assistant Superintendent of Police Neville de Silva and Director of the CCD Janaka Nandana, arrived at the scene of the crime, and began conducting investigations. During the shooting, the front windscreen of an official vehicle of the CCD had also been shattered. Similarly, a vehicle which had been parked at the apartment complex had been damaged.
Subsequent to informing Senior DIG Deshabandu Tennakoon about this incident, he arrived at the scene of the crime and began advising investigating officers on future investigations.
The officers who inspected the place where the shooting took place, discovered two pistols. A red motorcycle which was on the ground nearby was also taken into Police custody. A firearm was discovered adjacent to the housing complex.
Thus ended the life of crime of Samarasinghe Aarachchige Madush Lakshitha alias ‘Makandure Madush’ who was going to be the ‘God Father’ of the underworld in this country, who had lived a princely life enjoying luxury as a hotel owner in the State of Dubai, while engaging in murder and drug-related activities for several years as the leader of an organised crime gang.
Police officers including the Officer-in-Charge of the Colombo Crimes Division were involved in the investigations under the direct supervision of Senior DIG in charge of the Western Province, Deshabandu Tennakoon and based on the instructions of DIG in charge of the Colombo District Sisira Kumara, Director of the Colombo Crimes Division Senior Superintendent of Police Janaka Nandana, under the guidance of Assistant Superintendent of Police Neville de Silva.