How tips came to nab Harak Kata and Kudu Salindu | Sunday Observer

How tips came to nab Harak Kata and Kudu Salindu

12 March, 2023
Kudu Salindu-Harak Kata
Kudu Salindu-Harak Kata

Harak Kata was known as the Godfather of the underworld after the death of Makandure Madhush making Nadun Chinthaka Wickramarathne alias Harak Kata the Police Narcotics Bureau’s most wanted criminal. His close business associate is said to be Salindu Malshitha Gunaratne alias Kudu Salindu of Panadura. It is claimed that Salindu dealt with the Police and authorities allowing Harak Kata’s businesses to continue unhindered.

On August 11, 2022 when Harak Kata was arrested by the Dubai Police when attempting to travel to Malaysia under a forged passport, it is said that it was Salindu that hired a legal team led by a President’s Counsel from Sri Lanka to appear on behalf of his boss in the UAE. By October, Salindu’s efforts come to fruition and Harak Kara was released by the authorities. It is said that certain corrupt policemen from Sri Lanka also supported Salindu in securing Harak Kata’s release and preventing his repatriation to Sri Lanka at the time.

However, under the guidance of Minister of Public Security Tiran Alles, repatriation of the criminal duo has now commenced after they were arrested by the police in Madagascar on March 1. However, the main obstacle remains the massive cost involved in the process which is estimated to be around Rs. 100 million. The Minister, however, has not thrown in the towel and is said to be attempting his best to raise the funds.

Security concerns

Once the funds are secured a team of sleuths from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) is set to travel to Madagascar including personnel from the Special Task Force (STF) as well. The high cost is a result of the security concerns raised by the airline forcing the Police to increase the number of personnel being taken to bring the duo back to Sri Lanka. The handover of Harak Kata and Kudu Salindu as agreed by the Madagascar law enforcement authorities will take place in the flight following which they will remain handcuffed and guarded by three security personnel each at all times. According to Police sources, they may have to make two trips to bring them back if the airline refuses to have both criminals on board at the same time.

Currently, Harak Kata, Kudu Salindu and four of their associates are under the custody of law enforcement officers in Madagascar in addition to Harak Kata’s Malaysian paramour and his father. A newspaper from Madagascar, L’Express said the group had travelled to Madagascar on February 12 by a private jet from Dubai. It was Harak Kata’s first time abroad since his release from prison in Dubai. They had travelled unhindered despite an Interpol red notice out on him. It is said the private jet was furnished by an undiyal money dealer in Sri Lanka known to them. The group arriving at Madagascar’s Nosy Be-Fascene International Airport, on the same day had travelled to the Antananarivo Arivonimamo Airport.

According to reports they had stayed in luxury hotels during their time there and rented high-end vehicles to get around. Their intention was to seek possible investment opportunities and set themselves up as investors there to operate their drug mafia safely from the island country. They were nabbed by the authorities when attempting to return to Dubai on March 1. The authorities were alerted as Harak Kata had attempted to use his forged passport bearing number M 6692136 which the red alert was out on.

Underworld rivalry

Sources said the arrest was made based on a tip off received by the officials in Madagascar, as the underworld figure had travelled freely on the same passport previously without facing arrest.

It is believed the tipster is yet another drug dealer in competition with Harak Kata who was at one time operating from Pakistan before his arrest and repatriation in 2014. He is also now said to be residing in Dubai.

Following discussions the Madagascar Police have now agreed to hand over Harak Kata and Kudu Salindu who are the only two out of the arrested group that has Interpol red notices out on them. It is said the remaining persons under custody will be deported to Sri Lanka in the coming days based on the reports submitted by Sri Lankan law enforcement officials.