Court rejects bail applications of two arrested over child sex trafficking case

When the case was taken up before Colombo Additional Magistrate Lochani Abeywickrama today (July 19) the legal counsel representing a website owner and finance manager had filed bail applications for their clients.

However, officials of the Police Children & Women Bureau objected to the applications claiming that granting bail to the suspects in question may disrupt the ongoing investigations into the incident.

Police also informed the court that the release of the suspects may create uproar in the public.

Considering the submissions, the magistrate rejected the bail applications and postponed the case to July 29.

Meanwhile, during an identification parade, the victimized girl identified a three-wheeler driver who allegedly transported the girl to the procurers.

The Police Children & Women Bureau objected to the release of the said suspect as well. Accordingly, he, too, was remanded until July 29.

Over 40 suspects have been arrested over the controversial case of selling a 15-year-old girl online for sexual exploitation reported from Mount Lavinia.

The perpetrators had posted several advertisements online and sold the teen to third parties for a period of three months. Over a dozen of the suspects in custody had procured the girl for sexual exploitation, according to the law enforcement authorities.

Among the arrestees are the mother of the victimized teen, the vice-chairman of Mihintale Pradeshiya Sabha, vehicle drivers, the man who designed the advertisement and a saffron-robed person, a captain of a ship, several crew members, a gem merchant, four owners of websites that had published the advertisement, former Maldivian State Minister Mohamed Ashmalee, the manager of the hotel used by the perpetrators to exploit the teen, a cardiologist of a well-known hospital, a surgeon of Sri Lanka Navy, a former bank manager, and a police officer.

(Ada derana)

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