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AFP
July 18, 2019

SL orders arrest of top police watchdog

World

AFP
July 18, 2019

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s chief prosecutor on Wednesday ordered the arrest of a top officer at the police watchdog over his alleged involvement in a multi-million dollar gun-running racket.

Saman Dissanayake, the secretary and third in command of the National Police Commission, was ordered to appear in court by Friday over the transfer of state weapons to a private company.

At the time of the offence he was a top official in the defence ministry under Sri Lanka’s then-president Mahinda Rajapakse. Dissanayake had exhausted his attempts at securing anticipatory bail and could now be arrested, state attorney Nishara Jayaratne said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear if Dissanayake was in the country, with social media speculation that he may have travelled abroad last week. In a separate case, Rajapakse’s younger brother also faces allegations of gun-running.

Gotabhaya Rajapakse is accused of defrauding the government of millions of dollars while he was the top defence bureaucrat by transferring the navy’s responsibilities for providing armed protection to international shipping to a private firm. He is also facing several other criminal charges but is currently on bail and is in Singapore recuperating after a heart surgery, according to his lawyers.

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