STF raids underworld kingpin’s armoury, recovers 12 T-56 rifles



By Hemantha Randunu


The STF seized a stash of weapons from a safe house of underworld kingpin Dharmakeerthi Tharaka Perera Wijesekara alias Kosgoda Tharaka at Pitipana, Homagama yesterday. 


A suspect known as Potta Kapila and identified as an accomplice of Kosgoda Tharaka has also been arrested with the stock of weapons.


The raid was carried out under the supervision of STF Commandant DIG Waruna Jayasundara.


The STF commandos found 12 T-56 assault rifles in the raid. This is the highest number of T-56 rifles recovered in a single raid and the largest stash of firearms belonging to an underworld gang, found in Sri Lanka.  


Kosgoda Tharaka wanted for many crimes including murder, extortion and drug dealing, is currently in prison.


Police have information that Tharaka is still accepting contracts to kill people. They suspect that the recovered weapons had been used in crimes by his confederates.  


Tharaka is a notorious criminal involved in organised crime. The police said they believed he had killed least five people besides committing several robberies.


Tharaka shot dead a policeman during a robbery of a jewellery shop at Matara. He is in prison for that crime.


The STF arrested the chief accomplice of Kosgoda Tharaka, and seized 200 grams of heroin with a street value of Rs. 2.5 million, on May 25.


On May 15, the Police Narcotics Bureau arrested four associates of Tharaka, with more than 225 kilos of heroin, from a house at Mahabage in Welisara. The street value of the consignment of heroin was over Rs 2.2 billion, police said. A car and a double cab belonging to the suspects were also taken into custody.


The STF has launched further investigations to ascertain how Tharaka had amassed the weapons.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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