Why was prime suspect not arrested?
Concerns have arisen as to why the main suspect involved in the incident where four persons had falsely identified themselves as members of the Sri Lankan Tourist Board and attended the World Tourism Representatives Exhibition held in Canada, has not been arrested yet.
The Sunday Mawbima newspaper, for the first time, revealed the said incident on 26 May 2019, following which investigations commenced. The newspaper also revealed that the said individuals had not returned to the country.
While the fraudster charged six individuals who did not belong to the Sri Lanka Tourist Board, a sum of Rs one million each for the said visit, investigations reveal that only four individuals left for Canada.
Documents containing the signature of former Minister of Tourism Development John Amaratunga has been used for the said individuals to leave to Canada.
It is also reported that the money obtained by this fraud had been received by an individual in charge of Amaratunga’s personal staff.
The four individuals had visited the Travel and Vacation Show, that was held in Ontario, Canada, on 30 and 31 March 2019 as Tourism Development Officers, a Senior Tourism Instructor, and a Tourism Instructor.
Additionally, a letter for the participation of the said individual was signed by Amaratunga and it contained his official seal and was sent to Ottawa, Canada, on 8 March 2019.
A payment of US$ 1,950 had also been made for the entrance ticket to the Exhibition from the stenographer’s credit card while the approval for such a payment had been given by the Personal Secretary of the Minister.
It is also reported that the Personal Assistant held a high post in the Police and was the brother-in-law of the Minister.
Investigations into the Incident were carried out on the instructions of the Colombo Crimes Division DIG Neville de Silva. Two women and another suspect were arrested in this regard and probe findings were produced to the Court.