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CID re-issue photo of navy officer wanted over disappearance of Tamil youths

Sri Lanka's CID on Thursday re-issued a photograph of the navy lieutenant commander who is wanted in relation to his suspected involvement in the disappearance of 11 Tamil youths between 2008 - 2009. 

The police have issued an open arrest warrant for the officer, Hettiarachchi Mudiyanselage Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi alias Navy Sampath. 

Earlier this year Sri Lanka's former navy spokesperson, who was arrested in 2017 over the enforced disappearance of the Tamil youths was released on bail. 

Commodore D K P Dassanayake and five others were charged with aiding and abetting the abduction of 11 Tamil youths. 

In July 2017, the Sri Lankan police said there was "cogent evidence" against the former navy spokesperson. 

"On 28 May, 2009 Former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda submitted a written complaint against his Chief Security Officer, Lieutenant Commander Sampath Munasighe," the police said. 

"Munasinghe's cabin revealed four different NICs, a mobile phone, one passport belonging to one of the owners of the NICs, 450 live ammunition and promissory notes worth over Rs 10 lakhs."

"The CID then commenced investigations in June 2009, and several navy personnel, came forward with more information regarding this racket. Further investigations had revealed the involvement of Lieutenant Sampath Hettiarachchi."

"Cogent evidence in the form of civilian testimonies which involve testimonies from the friends and family of the kidnapped, testimonies from naval personnel who were against this practice, records taken from 15 mobile phones, tower triangulation data and telephone records have been collected," he said, adding "There has also been evidence that the vehicle belonging to one of the kidnapped individuals was also used after the number plates were changed to Navy number plates."

"A mobile phone, that had been discovered, belonged to one Mike Hogan, a British national who was then in Sri Lanka to recruit one of the kidnapped to his team prior to his kidnapping. Investigations have uncovered that Hogan too was threatened and his mobile phone seized by the suspects. However, Police said that Hogan was able to identify his mobile phone amidst the mounting evidence.

"Both, Sampath Munasighe and Sampath Hettiarachchi operated under the commands of D.K.P. Dassanayake, and there is clear evidence against him." 

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