Balapitiya Magistrate Sachitra Jayasuriya yesterday remanded three suspects including former Commodore Ajith Boyagoda accused of stealing an albino turtle from a conservation hatchery at Kosgoda.They were remanded till Nov. 02, 2017.
Commodore Boyagoda had been the captain of the Navy vessel Sagarawardhana, which was blown up by the LTTE in September, 1994 following which they kept him in their custody for eight years. After the LTTE released him, he retired from the service in 2004.
Thereafter, Boyagda took to exporting ornamental fish.
A Maldivian businessman is believed to have given the contract for stealing the albino turtle.
Police said that investigations had so far found that Commodore Boyagoda had allegedly obtained Rs. 100 million from the Maldivian businessman to give him the albino turtle.
The white turtle was stolen from the hatchery on Dec. 06, 2013. Later popular Singer Amal Perera, too, was accused of the theft.
Police found four other white turtles in the hatchery. Police under the impression that the hatchery owner had made a false complaint and filed a case against him.
The white turtle incident came to the surface again with information elicited by the Colombo Crime Division sleuths from the suspects of the Aduruppu Street jewellery shop robbery where three-and-a-half kilos of gold jewelry was taken away by the four robbers.
The robbery was masterminded by a serving police sub inspector.
The Peliyagoda Police Crime Division sleuths recovered a stock of gold jewellery and arrested four suspects in connection with the heist including the notorious underworld character Army Sampath last Saturday (15). Under interrogation Army Sampath revealed that he had stolen the white turtle.
Army Sampath divulged that the stolen white turtle had died. He said the contract for stealing the turtle had been given to him by Commodore Boyagoda. He had been promised six million rupees for the operation.
After eliciting information from Sampath Director of the CCD, SP Nishantha Soysa and a team took Commodore Boyagoda and three other suspects into custody.
Investigations have revealed that the three suspects and Army Sampath received four million rupees from the retired navy officer.
The dead white turtle had been burnt to destroy evidence, Sampath revealed.
The CCD officials are conducting further investigations under the supervision of the Western Province Senior DIG Nandana Munasnighe and Colombo DIG Lalith Pathinayake.