The Polpithigama Police and the Nikaweratiya Division Anti-Corruption Unit on Sunday (13) arrested 11 individuals and a Police Official, who were engaged in digging for a treasure, believed to be from the King Dutugemunu era, at Moragollagama in the Polpithigama Police area.
A senior Police Official said that the arrested. Police officer had been identified as a current security officer to former Minister and Member of Parliament for the Kurunegala District Johnston Fernando.
This Police officer who has been identified as the chief suspect in this treasure hunt is attached to the Kurunegala Police Station.
Together with the suspects, machinery which had been used for digging up the treasure, on the pretext of digging a well, a generator, pipes, wire and black magic items as well as other equipment, two motor cycles, a three-wheeler, bottles of saline and a number of medicines, as well as a device named the pathaalaanduna were taken into custody.
This place, known as Hatangama, which belongs to the era of King Dutugemuna, is said, in folklore, to contain valuable lumps of gems and residents of the area say that there are many ancient factors that confirm this. Polpithigama Police said another group was arrested previously at this same place in 2003 while engaged in excavating for treasure.
The senior Police officer of the Polpithigama Police said that the suspects who were arrested were identified as residents of Wariyapola, Nagollagama, Trincomalee, Ankumbura and Moragollagama and that they are scheduled to be produced before the Maho Magistrate.
A group of officers, including Sub Inspector of Police Upali Navaratne, Police Constable Herath (17688), Police Constable Damith (87723), Police Constable Bandara (39038), Police Constable Driver Lakmal (89886) and Sub Inspector of Police Jayaratne of the Nikaweratiya Division Anti-Corruption Unit carried-out the raid on the instructions of Superintendant of Police of the Nikaweratiya Division Sanjeewa Bandara with the guidance of Assistant Superintendant of Police H. M. P. Herath and Officer-in-Charge of Polpithigama Police Upali Rathnamalal.