Who Aided Traffickers to Flout Travel Ban?

By Hansi Nanayakkara 

Colombo Additional Magistrate Lochani Abeywickrema, on Friday (16), ordered the Police Children and Women’s Bureau (PCWB) to conduct a probe on how the 15-year-old child had been trafficked to several areas in the country, particularly at a time when travel between Provinces had been prohibited due to the spread of the COVID-19.

 Accordingly, she ordered the PCWB to investigate on whose orders the child had been transported, where she had been sexually molested and those who had aided and abetted the act.

Magistrate Abeywickrema gave this order when the suspects connected to the case were produced for an identification parade. PCWB stated that though the Moratuwa Chief Magistrate’s Court had issued an order for the main suspect in the case to be produced in the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court on 15 July, they observed the Prisons Department had failed to comply with that order. 

The victim had identified the ex-Maldivian State Minister of Finance and three hotel workers who were produced before the identification parade. The bail applications put forth by the three hotel workers were dismissed by the Magistrate who insisted that enlarging them on bail could hamper the probe into the case and ordered them to be further remanded till 29 July. 

The Court ordered the Maldivian State Minister to be released on cash bail in Rs 25,000 and on two sureties of Rs 5 million each, under the proviso that the probe conducted into the suspect’s involvement in the incident, by the PCWB, has been completed.  

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