...underworld leaders go underground
Notorious gangster Vambotta killed
by Hemantha Randunu

The notorious gangster Kitulamulla Gamage Ruvan Kumara alias Vambotta, of the Southern Province was shot dead at Eswatta, Kosgama on Sunday (2) night by unidentified gunmen who had followed the vehicle he was travelling in from Negombo, Kosgama police said yesterday (3)

Underworld kingpins have gone into hiding, fearing for their own safety, after Sunday night’s killing of the notorious Vambotta became known.

Many of the underworld leaders, who were opposed to Vambotta now fear that they would be the target of revenge killings by what remains of his gang, while those who had no grouse against him fear that they could be targeted by other seeking to take complete control of the underworld now that the feared Vambotta is out of the way.

A member of the Vambotta’s gang who was seriously injured in the shooting was admitted to the Homagama Hospital.

Two other persons who were travelling with Vambotta were unhurt although the pursuers had used automatic rifles to riddle the underworld figure’s body with bullets, police said.

Vambotta who had started life selling vegetables in the Sooriyawewa weekly fair had later joined the notorious gang of Ratnaweera who was a suspect in a large number of extortions, robberies and murders and remained with the gang for sometime but later left it to form his own gang, police said.

When Southern Provincial Councillor Chandimalli was killed by the Ratnaweera Gang in front of the CID headquarters, Colombo Ratnaweera was arrested as a suspect and was remanded.

Ratnaweera too was gunned down by the Vambotta gang who held up the prisons vehicle at Ridiyagama when he was being taken to courts by the prison officers. Ratnaweera and a prisons officer were killed.

Vambotta was remanded as a suspect in the case and it was only one and a half months ago that he had been released. On Sunday Vambotta with some others including the person who was seriously injured had come to Negombo and were returning to Sooriyawewa but had come to Kosgama police area when a van in which his assailants travelled had opened fire on Vambotta’s van killing him almost instantaneously, police said.

The gang rivalry between Vambotta and Ratanaweera had claimed the lives of a number of people before each gang leader also was gunned down by gang members police said.


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