Businessman, backhoe driver arrested over Anawilundawa Sanctuary clearing remanded

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The businessman and the backhoe operator involved in clearing Anawilundawa Wetland Sanctuary in Mundalama, Puttalam have been remanded until the 4th of September.

They were produced before the Chilaw Magistrate’s Court today (29).

The 35-year-old businessman in question was taken into custody earlier today while the backhoe driver was placed under arrest on Friday (28) at his home in Kiriyankalliya, Mundalama.

The backhoe loader used by the suspect was also taken into custody by the police.

The relevant businessman was arrested based on the information obtained from the apprehended backhoe driver.

On August 25, the mangrove ecosystem in the sanctuary has been cleared using machineries illegally. The area where the illegal activity had taken place is approximately 0.697 hectares, according to Secretary to the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Conservation M.K .Bandula Harischandra,.

Subject Minister C.B. Rathnayake later gave instructions to take action in this regard and the wildlife officials had reported the matter to the Chilaw Magistrate’s Court.

Further investigations were subsequently launched with the police to disclose the suspects and the case items.

This 1,397-hectare land was declared as a sanctuary on 11 May 1997 in term of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance.