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Top organised crime investigator flees Sri Lanka

A top investigator in Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) credited with making breakthroughs in high profile cases involving military and state personnel, has fled Sri Lanka with his family.

Nishantha de Silva, head of the organised crimes investigation unit at the CID has reportedly traveled to Switzerland with his family, without the approval of the Sri Lankan police department. 

Silva had been credited with pushing through several high profile cases implicating military and state personnel, including the abduction of 11 youths, with 13 navy personnel arrested in connection with the case and senior navy officials pending investigation. He has also been investigating the death of a Tamil detainee in police custody, as well as the assassination of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge.

The investigator had reportedly been fearing for his security since the election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as Sri Lankan president, and had his own security presence withdrawn after the demotion of his chief Shani Abeysekara last week. Earlier this year an assassination plot led by the Sri Lankan navy against Silva was uncovered by the CID.

Last year, Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena had attempted to transfer Silva in the period of upheaval when he had  tried to appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister.

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