Police in last stages of Easter Sunday attack investigations


Says Easter Sunday attackers received funding from banned foreign organisations
Police assures will work close with AG to prepare charges and start trial 
Over 200 suspects being held as part of investigation 

By Asiri Fernando

The group that carried out the Easter Sunday bombings had received large amounts of funding from a banned foreign organisation, the Police said yesterday.

Police spokesman SP Jaliya Senaratne 

The Police stated that they are in the last stages of a complex investigation into the Easter Sunday bombings last year and mapping the networks of a few remaining suspects who will be taken into custody in the near future. 

Speaking to the press on the progress of the 14-month long investigations conducted by three Police teams, Police spokesman SP Jaliya Senaratne said that money was channelled to the group for their activities. “The group had also generated funds through legal and illegal enterprises in Sri Lanka,” he said, pointing out that a metal recycling plant in Wellampitiya, which belongs two of the bombers, was also a source of funds for the group. 

The Police alleged that the recycling plant had acquired metal including copper by fraudulently posing as a number of fictitious small and medium enterprises and exported in breach of export regulations. 

“Investigations have revealed that the funds from these enterprises were channelled to Zahran and used for terrorist actives,” he said. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) are continuing to trace the funding and linkages of the group. 

The Police allege that Zahran Hashim had made payments to several suspects who were involved in defacing Buddha statues in Mawanella in 2018. “Two of the suspects who were involved in the murder of two Police officers in Vavunathivu, Batticaloa (30 November 2018) were the gunmen who attempted to murder Mohammad Razak Taslim,” Senaratne said. 

According to the Police, one of the firearms taken from the deceased policeman in Vavunathivu was used in the attempted assassination of Taslim who had been helping the Police with the Mawanella investigation. The Police suspect that the attempted assassination was carried out under Zahran’s orders.  

SP Senaratne said that the Police was confident that they have compiled adequate evidence to prosecute the terror suspects held in detention and that they will be working closely with the Attorney General›s Department in the coming weeks the prepare the charge reports and evidence to produce them before court for trial.  

Senaratne said that with the ongoing investigations, the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) has arrested 26 suspects, of which eight are held on detention orders and five have been remanded. The CID is holding 36 suspects under detention orders while 35 have been remanded and the TID is investigating 63 suspects held under detention orders, while 16 suspects have been remanded. “Therefore, over 200 suspects are being held or remanded through the investigation,” he added. 

The Police have taken in to custody three Type-56 rifles, two revolvers, a pistol, a 12. Gauge Shotgun, 2,000 detonators, more than 600 sticks of Gelignite explosives and a large stock of Potassium Nitrate, Nitric acid and Urea fertiliser which is used to manufacture explosives, in relation to the investigation.sordft  

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