Suspects apprehended for stealing Lester’s award remanded

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Six suspects arrested in connection with the robbery of a lifetime achievement award belonging to veteran film director late Dr. Lester James Peiris and a mobile phone were remanded until the 21st May by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court.

Colombo Additional Magistrate Daminda Weligoda remanded the suspects, who were arrested by the Bambalapitiya Police yesterday and produced before the court today.The Magistrate also ordered the Prison Superintendent to submit two of the suspects for an identification parade at next hearing.

The lawyers reprinting the suspects requested the court to release their clients on bail but the police informed the court that investigations are not yet completed and opposed releasing the suspects on bail.The Police said that the five suspects arrested over the theft of the Golden Peacock award belonging to the internationally acclaimed film maker included several individuals who have been stealing valuable items at gatherings of crowds, specifically those of the rich, for the past couple of years.

Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara, briefing the media on the investigation today (7), said that the award in question is the Golden Peacock Lifetime Achievement Award received by Dr. Lester James Peiris at the New Delhi Film Festival in 2000.

The award has gone missing from the residence of late Dr. Peiris during his funeral and the Bambalapitiya Police received a complaint on May 2 regarding the missing award and a mobile phone belonged to a relative. The award was found inside a private bus plying the Kaduwela-Kollupitiya route on May 5. The driver and conductor of the bus handed over the award to police on the same day.

Bambalapitiya Police inspecting the CCTV footage from neighboring houses on May 4 spotted the suspects arriving in a three-wheeler and information obtained from the three-wheelers number plate has led to the arrest of a 61-year-old resident of Gemunupura in Kothalawala, Kaduwela. The suspect has then led the police to three other suspects aged 64, 60 and 46 and residents of Gampola and Nawalapitiya.The spokesman said the suspects have been engaged in planning and carrying out theft of valuable items at crowded gatherings, especially those attended by the rich. Another suspect, a 47-year-old resident of Hiniduma, was arrested yesterday (6). Police also arrested an owner of a phone shop in Nawalapitiya who received the stolen mobile phone.

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