By Gayan Kumara Weerasinghe
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP A.Vinayagamurthi is currently been sought by the Vavuniya police for questioning regarding a money scam allegedly carried out by him in the guise of locating disappeared persons from the North.
TNA MP has been summoned in this connection to the Vavuniya police, requiring him to be present by November 16, a senior policeman told this newspaper.
He said that currently the scam is in operation in the North where large amounts of money has been taken from gullible persons on the pretext of locating their long-lost relatives or kith and kin during the height of the war.
Our police source stated that from information received the TNA MP in question is alleged to have provided a cellular phone number of aan impersonator having described him as major of the Sri Lanka Army.
This MP had then allegedly told many families of missing persons that they could contact this Major and locate their relatives, while the bogus character is said to have acquired lakhs of rupees through the scam.
The police is said to have received two complaints in this regard and around Rs.75,000 to Rs.300,000 had been obtained from the families of missing persons under the assurance that loved ones will be found.
The complainants have told the police that a person who had arrived in a motor cycle sans any number plates had obtained the money from them in Vavunia and that the suspect has already disconnected his cellular phone.
Meanwhile, a person in Mannar who had dialed the phone number before it had been disconnected with the aim of locating one of the relatives had been advised to deposit a sum of money in a bank account.
That bank account is supposed to have been operated by the wife of a reputed underworld kingpin in Borella, the police have revealed.
This woman is now said to have disappeared after the police had blown the lid on the scam.
Vavunia District DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara noted that this scam had been in operation for some time with help from the politicians and advised the public not to fall prey, and if contacted by the operators of the scam, to inform the nearest police station.
He added that there was no need to throw valuable money in their efforts to locate missing or disappeared persons and the best course of action was to leave that task to the police and not be taken for a ride by racketeers and swindlers. When contacted TNA MP A Vinayagamurthi acknowledged that he has been ordered summoned to the Vavuniya police station on November 16.
He pointed out that he had forwarded the cellular phone number not with the intention of asking families of missing persons to pay money and that he had only come to know about that later.
The TNA MP insisted that he had played no role in the money being paid by people to dubious characters and that the person in question had contacted him several times posing as a soldier.
This shady character had told the TNA MP that he was in a position to release several LTTE suspects in police custody and had demanded a sum of 50 lakhs of rupees to release Elilan and a further sum of 30 lakhs to release Sudakaran.
MP Vinayagamurthi added that certain members from the families of missing persons had been constantly inquiring from him about their disappeared relatives when he was in the Jaffna district.
When he had inquired from the soldier, he had provided some information to him, which had prompted him to hand his mobile phone to the concerned family members, he explained. COURTESY:LAKBIMA NEWS