Police sergeant arrested for aiding and abetting “Harak Kata’s” escape bid

Handcuffs - Arrest by Police

A police sergeant from the Matara Divisional Crimes Investigation Unit has been arrested by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) on charges related to aiding and abetting the failed escape attempt of organized crime figure Nandun Chinthaka, also known as ‘Harak Kata’, from the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

The 36-year-old police sergeant, a resident of Ahangama, was apprehended on Wednesday (March 06) in the Midigama area by the TID following intensive investigations that uncovered his involvement in providing assistance to ‘Harak Kata’ during his escape attempt.

During the investigations conducted via telephone data analysis, the police recovered a motorcycle and a safety helmet brought to the CID to aid ‘Harak Kata’s’ escape attempt.

It was revealed that a person named ‘Sudda’ was also involved in bringing the helmet. Subsequent investigations revealed that he had changed his place of residence.

Further telephone analysis was conducted on ‘Sudda’, revealing his communication with a police sergeant attached to the Matara Divisional Crime Investigation Unit.

Moreover, revelations emerged regarding the sergeant’s communication with Jayasekara Withanage Ruwan Chamara, also known as ‘Midigama Ruwan’, through WhatsApp.

‘Midigama Ruwan’ orchestrated “Harak Kata’s” escape plot while abroad.

This arrest marks a significant development in the ongoing investigation into ‘Harak Kata’s’ escape attempt, shedding light on the intricate network of individuals involved in aiding the notorious underworld figure.

The TID continues its efforts to unravel further details surrounding this incident under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

‘Harak Kata’ was apprehended in Madagascar along with his infamous accomplice, Salindu Malshika, alias ‘Kudu Salindu’, on March 01, 2023, in a joint operation by INTERPOL, Malagasy law enforcement authorities, and Customs officials.

The duo was brought back to Sri Lanka after Malagasy defense officials informed the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry on March 08, 2023, of the arrest of eight suspects, including the two Sri Lankan underworld figures.

‘Harak Kata’ had been wanted by the Sri Lanka Police for his involvement in multiple murders, robberies, and transnational drug trafficking.

While in custody, ‘Harak Kata’ attempted a failed escape bid at the CID premises in September 2023, with the help of several police officers.

One such constable remains at large after fleeing the CID premises.

The police have offered a cash reward of Rs. 2.5 million for information leading to the apprehension of the said officer named Munipalage Ravindu Sandeepa Gunasekara.

During the interrogation, ‘Harak Kata’ allegedly requested to use the washroom and was escorted out of the interrogation room with his accomplice – the police constable, and another sub-inspector attached to the Police Special Task Force (STF), assigned for the suspect’s protection.

Although his handcuffs were removed at that point, the underworld kingpin acted as if he were still cuffed and attempted to snatch the STF officer’s firearm, leading to a scuffle.

A group of other CID officers quickly arrived at the scene upon hearing the commotion and managed to detain ‘Harak Kata’ in their custody.

Amidst the altercation, the aforementioned constable reportedly fled the CID premises and remains in hiding to date, while certain reports claim that he is presumed to have fled the country.

A police constable, a former army sniper, and several others are currently in custody in connection with the incident.