Chief suspect claims Museum heist was one man show


By Norman Palihawadana

 Priyantha Medis, alias Kumara, alias Kangetta, now being grilled by the Criminal Investigations Department over the Museum heist early this year, has claimed that it was entirely a one man show.

In the theft carried out on the night of May 17, the items removed included eight swords that had been dipped in gold, the handle of a walking stick, six gold rings, 92 pure gold coins, old out of circulation currency notes and the sword used by the last king of Kandy.

Prior to the arrest of Kangetta on Saturday, after a massive manhunt, the police made the initial breakthrough when they arrested a couple taking a large portion of the loot in a three wheeler from Gonawela to hide it. They are now in remand.

According to Museum Director Nanda Wickramasinghe, all those items would be returned to the Museum after the conclusion of the case. She blamed the theft on the negligence of the security staff.

Mastermind Kangetta sold the gold coins to a businessman in Kotahena.

A CID spokesman told The Island that they now wanted to question about f40 people, who the chief suspect had been talking to on his mobile phone.

Meanwhile, a worker attached to the company that installed closed circuit TV in the Museum, has told the CID that they had switched off the TV cameras in the section in which the heist was staged as there was a burning smell emanating from its wires.

Sleuths said they would continue to grill the main suspect to get to the bottom of the crime that shocked the entire nation.

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