WikiLeaks: Banks Tip Off Abductors Businessmen’s Details

Filed under: Colombo Telegraph,News,STORIES,WikiLeaks |
 

Abduction Plague Muslim Community – Banks Tip Off Abductors Businessmen’s Details 

By Colombo Telegraph -

VC (1)
“A source in the Central Bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit said he believes the banks tip off abductors immediately after a large transfer appears in a businessman’s account.”the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from WikiLeaks database, the cabal named as “Abduction Plague Muslim Community”. The cable is classified as “SECRET” and written by the Ambassador Robert O. Blake on June 19, 2007.

Under the subheading “EMBASSY INTERLOCUTORS DETAIL ABDUCTION METHODS” Robert Blake wrote “Several credible Embassy interlocutors, including members of the Center for Policy Alternatives (strictly protect), a respected Sri Lankan NGO, have described how abductions of prominent Muslim businessmen sometimes occur. They told us that abductors illegally obtain copies of prominent businessmen’s bank documents from corrupt bank officers. A source in the Central Bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit said he believes the banks tip off abductors immediately after a large transfer appears in a businessman’s account. According to reports, the businessman is then abducted and held in a number of different safehouses, at least two of which are located in Kandy, requiring the abductors to pass several checkpoints between Kandy and Colombo. Contacts told us the businessman’s family is directed to pay between 20 and 50 million rupees (approximately 200,000 to 500,000 U.S. dollars), or the businessman will be killed. One interlocutor related that after payment is made, the businessman is escorted with the help of the Sri Lankan military out of the country to Singapore. He is told not to return to Sri Lanka or his family members will be killed. The Embassy has received reports of 11 Tamil and Muslim businessmen transported to Singapore after ransom has been paid.”

Placing a comment Blake wrote “ The negative impact of abductions is spreading beyond the Tamil community and past extra-judicial methods of dealing with possible LTTE supporters into abductions of any minority with a large bank account. Muslim leaders like Rauff Hakeem are increasingly critical of the Rajapaksa administration’s apparent tolerance for abductions, and numerous recent media reports have called attention to the growing trend of Muslim abductions for ransom. The Ambassador met with Foreign Minister Bogollogama on June 13 in part to flag to the Government our concern about this new trend and the need for the GSL to address it ”

Related news to the cable;

WikiLeaks: Justice Minister Hakeem Knows Who The Abductors Are

WikiLeaks: Gota Is The Abductor – Lakshman Seneviratne

Read the cable below for further details;

VZCZCXRO9010
OO RUEHBI RUEHLMC
DE RUEHLM #0861/01 1700544
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 190544Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6287
INFO RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 0214
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 7197
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 5304
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 3844
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 1104
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 3915
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 1139
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 3001
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 7783
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 5443
RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO PRIORITY 0260
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 2136
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 COLOMBO 000861 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INS AND PM
MCC FOR D NASSIRY AND E BURKE 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/18/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER PHUM MOPS CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: ABDUCTIONS PLAGUE MUSLIM COMMUNITY 

REF: COLOMBO 842 

Classified By: Ambassador Robert O. Blake, Jr., for reasons 1.4(b,d). 

1.  (S) SUMMARY:  Muslim businessmen have been subjected to
abductions for the first time in recent weeks, marking a new
and disturbing trend.  Following numerous complaints from
Muslim community groups, Ambassador called on Sri Lanka
Muslim Congress leader Rauff Hakeem (strictly protect), who
stated that support for abductions of Muslim businessmen
comes from "the very top."  Opposition United National Party
legislator Lakshman Seneviratne, speaking in Parliament,
accused Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa, Colombo
Deputy-Inspector General of Police Rohan Abeywardena and
former Air Force Squadron Leader Nishantha Gajanayake of
orchestrating abductions.  Ambassador raised U.S. concerns
about the new trend of Muslim abductions with Foreign
Minister Bogollogama on June 13 (reftel).  END SUMMARY. 

EMBASSY RECEIVES AN INFLUX OF COMPLAINTS
---------------------------------------- 

2.  (C) In recent weeks the Embassy has received several
anonymous letters from Muslim groups alleging that they are
being targeted for abduction for ransom.  One such letter
from the "Muslim Community in Sri Lanka," with no return
address, states that "within a short period they have
kidnapped and collected huge sums from Muslim businessmen."
Several Muslim leaders have alleged that Muslim businessmen
are being targeted for abduction now that most prominent
Tamil businessmen have either paid off paramilitary groups or
fled the country. 

MUSLIM LEADER STATES ABDUCTIONS COME "FROM THE VERY TOP"
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 

3.  (S)  Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader and Minister of
Posts and Telecommunications Rauff Hakeem (strictly protect)
told Ambassador on June 14 that he believed that those
carrying out abductions receive "patronage from the very
top," but did not elaborate further.  Hakeem stated that he
has received many complaints from his constituents recently
about abductions for ransom among the Muslim community but
that victims were "petrified" to come forward and make a
formal complaint.  According to Hakeem, some prominent Muslim
businessmen have decided to leave Sri Lanka until the threat
of abduction subsides.  In reference to government-sanctioned
abductions of Muslim businessmen for ransom, Hakeem said that
the Muslim community "has never seen this before." 

UNP CONNECTS ABDUCTIONS TO GOTHABAYA
------------------------------------ 

4.  (SBU) On June 6, during an emergency session of
Parliament, United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian
Lakshman Seneviratne accused Defense Secretary Gothabaya
Rajapaksa, Colombo Deputy-Inspector General of Police Rohan
Abeywardena and former Air Force Squadron Leader Nishantha
Gajanayake of orchestrating abductions.  Seneviratne stated
that Gajanayake, a retired Air Force officer whose last
assignment was as Executive Assistant to former Sri Lanka
Armed Forces Commander Donald Perera, was Gothabaya's
personal link to the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP,
or "Karuna faction") in Colombo.  He added that Gajanayake
arranged abductions using the TMVP on orders from Gothabaya
and with the assistance of police officers acting under
Abeywardena.  Although Seneviratne did not differentiate
between Muslim abductions and Tamil abductions during his
condemnation of the Defense Secretary, he did lodge specific
accusations concerning the abduction of a prominent Muslim 

COLOMBO 00000861  002 OF 002 

businessman against Defense Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella's
security detail, leading to angry exchanges in Parliament.
Seneviratne stated that a Muslim businessman's brother told
him that Rambukwella's bodyguards lured the businessman to a
hotel in Kandy and then held him for ransom, demanding a
"colossal" sum of money. 

EMBASSY INTERLOCUTORS DETAIL ABDUCTION METHODS
--------------------------------------------- - 

5.  (S) Several credible Embassy interlocutors, including
members of the Center for Policy Alternatives (strictly
protect), a respected Sri Lankan NGO, have described how
abductions of prominent Muslim businessmen sometimes occur.
They told us that abductors illegally obtain copies of
prominent businessmen's bank documents from corrupt bank
officers.  A source in the Central Bank's Financial
Intelligence Unit said he believes the banks tip off
abductors immediately after a large transfer appears in a
businessman's account.  According to reports, the businessman
is then abducted and held in a number of different
safehouses, at least two of which are located in Kandy,
requiring the abductors to pass several checkpoints between
Kandy and Colombo.  Contacts told us the businessman's family
is directed to pay between 20 and 50 million rupees
(approximately 200,000 to 500,000 U.S. dollars), or the
businessman will be killed.  One interlocutor related that
after payment is made, the businessman is escorted with the
help of the Sri Lankan military out of the country to
Singapore.  He is told not to return to Sri Lanka or his
family members will be killed.  The Embassy has received
reports of 11 Tamil and Muslim businessmen transported to
Singapore after ransom has been paid. 

6.  (C) COMMENT:  The negative impact of abductions is
spreading beyond the Tamil community and past extra-judicial
methods of dealing with possible LTTE supporters into
abductions of any minority with a large bank account.  Muslim
leaders like Rauff Hakeem are increasingly critical of the
Rajapaksa administration's apparent tolerance for abductions,
and numerous recent media reports have called attention to
the growing trend of Muslim abductions for ransom.  The
Ambassador met with Foreign Minister Bogollogama on June 13
in part to flag to the Government our concern about this new
trend and the need for the GSL to address it (reftel).
BLAKE

 

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5 Responses to WikiLeaks: Banks Tip Off Abductors Businessmen’s Details

  1. 0
    0
    Why only allow politicians to make money, the bank staff must be thinking why not make hay while the sun shines.

    gamini
    April 25, 2012 at 2:35 am
    Reply

  2. 0
    0
    I dont think opportunist Rauff Hakeem standings on Muslims. But this is a serious threat to minorities.

    Hade Sheriff
    April 25, 2012 at 8:17 am
    Reply

  3. 0
    0
    Check with the former so called human rights campaigner and brother regarding these abductions.

    randy mathew
    April 26, 2012 at 5:48 am
    Reply

  4. 0
    0
    So………. still blaming these “abductions” on the Govt of Sri Lanka????

    Vis8
    April 26, 2012 at 3:07 pm
    Reply

    • 0
      0
      May be you have trouble comprehending the article. It said the abductors are required to pass through several checkpoints between Colombo and Kandy. Let’s see if you can rub the two brain-cells together to make sense out of this point.

      Katmai
      April 26, 2012 at 9:20 pm
      Reply

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