Former Cabinet Minister and Wanni district MP Rishad Bathiudeen was arrested in Dehiwela by the Police in the early hours of Monday October 19th announced Police Spokesperson DIG Ajith Rohana.
According to Police sources the ex-minister who is also the leader of the all Ceylon Makkal Congress(ACMC) was arrested by a special Police team following an alleged tip -off received by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police.
He was reportedly taken into custody at an apartment located in Ebenezer Place, Dehiwela.The Police had launched an intensive search operation deploying six different Police teams for the purpose.
Earlier last week the Fort Magistrate had issued a travel ban on former Minister of Industry and Commerce and All Ceylon Makkal Congress Party Leader Rishad Bathiudeen, following a request made by the Criminal Investigation Division (CID).
The travel ban came after multiple Police teams failed to find and arrest the former Minister, following a directive by Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera. The CID earlier sought a warrant from the Colombo Fort Magistrate to arrest Rishad Bathiudeen. However, the Magistrate turned down the request, pointing out that the Police could arrest the suspect without a warrant.
The former Minister and two others – Mohamed Yaseen Samsudeen and Alagarathnam Manoranjan – are accused of allegedly violating Article 82(1) of Presidential Elections Act No.15 of 1981 and allegedly misappropriating public funds. Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said that the AG had directed the Police to arrest three suspects, including Rishad Bathiudeen, following a CID investigation into the matter.
The Police had also arrested an accountant, Alagarathnam Manoranjan, at a residence in Kirulapone , on related charges. Manoranjan was remanded till 26 October by the Colombo Fort Magistrate.
A Police constable who was assigned to the former Minister’s protection detail was also arrested in Wellawatta for aiding and abetting a suspect to escape. The Police have also taken into custody two drivers along with two vehicles suspected to have been used by the former Minister and found two pistols and ammunition in their possession. “We are currently investigating if the firearms are licenced, and if so, who they were issued to and if they are illegal weapons,” DIG Ajith Rohana said. The two drivers, aged 55 and 45, are residents of Puttalam.
“We have concluded the investigations on former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and the related suspects and will be effecting arrests soon,” DIG Rohana stressed
Lawyers on behalf of Bathiudeen had also filed a writ application last week at the Court of Appeal seeking a stay order to prevent his arrest.
(Compiled from Media Reports in Newspapers and Web Sites)