CCD rescues: Mannar student from international abduction drama
OIC CCD Neville De Silva
It was21-year-old Malcom Denver’s dream to find an overseas job after
completing his Advanced Level examination. It was also the wish of his
parents and close relatives to support him in his endeavour. The Mannar-
born Tamil student who followed his dream to an overseas country
ultimately fell into a hellhole of treacherous men who acted as good
samaritans and caused undue problems for him.Fortunately, he returned to
his family in one piece after an unbelievable turn of events.
In the last few months we witnessed several high profile abduction
dramas involving small children and millions of rupees were demanded to
free them. Certain cases put the country in suspense and even gained the
attention of President Mahinda Rajapaksa who directly ordered to hold
immediate inquiries. The quick response of the police saved two young
But surpassing all this is a case which tops the list, where
abductors dared to take the abducted person to a foreign country to
demand a ransom of Rs five million from his family to release their son.
The Colombo Crime Division(CCD) reputed for its involvement in solving
many high profile cases unearth a carefully masterminded abduction drama
which perhaps could be seen as a box office thriller.
On June 17 this year, the IGP, N K Illangakoon received a complaint
from a middle-aged couple from Mannar who claimed that their nephew had
been abducted by a group of men in Singapore and a ransom of Rs.5
million was demanded to release him unhurt. The police chief who
realised the gravity of this one- of- a- kind case ordered the CCD to
investigate the matter.
|CCD Unit 3
of Malcom Denver
CCD Director SSP Roshan Silva who received instructions ordered his
subordinates to handle the case. On the same day, the aggrieved couple
visits the CCD in Demtagoda to lodge their complaint. OIC CCD Chief
Inspector Neville De Silva listens to this unbelievable story of how a
21-year-old youth was deceitfully taken to a foreign land with the
promise of finding him a job and then keep him in the captivity for days
demanding a fortune to set him free.
Joseph Mariyadas Malcom Denver was born to an affluent Tamil Catholic
family in Mannar in 1993. His father Joseph Mariyadas was engaged in the
fisheries trade for many years.
When the boy was growing up he was taken care of by his father’s
younger brother and wife, James Marie Asanta, who also lived in
Pallimure, Mannar close to Joseph’s house. The boy after sitting for his
Advanced Level examination in 2012 moved to his uncle’s house where he
was well taken care of by his aunt.
Denver had a dream to find an overseas job one day and even the
adults felt the same because he was wasting his time at home. Joseph
decided to consult one of his former friends known even to his brother,
to seek foreign employment. Initially the parents and relatives wanted
to send Denver to Canada. During this time they met Joseph’s friend
Sivasubramaniam, originally from Sulipuram, Jaffna.
Sivasubramaniam is temporarily based in Mannar and was running a
dried fish business for sometime. When Joseph and his brother had
excessive harvest of fish that would near the expiring period, it is
usually sold to Sivasubramaniam to be processed as dried fish. Being
invitation of Joseph Sivasubramaniam visits their house to discuss about
the Denver’s future. When the family expresses their desire to send
Denver to Canada, Sivasubramaniam proposes them to send Denver to
Singapore. The former however agreed and got ready for the trip.
This happened in early May and after about a week Denver and his aunt
Asanta come to Colombo to buy essential items for his trip. The duo
stayed at Joseph’s sister’s house in Crow Island, Modera for a few days.
One day the couple visit the Pettah market to buy clothes when Asanta
received a call from a man named Vigneshwaran who claimed to be a friend
Vigneshwaran tells Asanta that he will help Denver to find foreign
employment and ask them to come and meet him at Cinnamon Lakeside hotel
to discuss about the trip. Asanta who didn’t have a clue about where the
five star hotel was asked to pass the phone to a trishaw driver to whom
Vigneshwaran gave directions.
That afternoon Denver and Asanta met Vigneshwaran and Sivasubramaniam
at the lobby of Cinnamon Grand. There Vigneshwaran told Asanta to pay
him Rs.50, 000 for the air ticket and keep $100 ready as pocket money
until Denver finds a job in Singapore. He also tells Asanta to bear the
cost of Denver’s passport. With the trust placed in Sivasubramaniam,
Asanta agreed to pay the ticket money to Vigneshwaran. The duo was then
instructed to meet Sivasubramaniam in Kotahena on the next day to visit
the passport office to apply for a passport.
Asanta and Denver met Sivasubramaniam near St. Anthony’s Church in
Kotahena on the following day and travelled to Punchi Borella in a
trishaw. There the group submit the application forms to the Department
of Immigration and Emigration to obtain the passport in the one day
service. Since the applicants were asked to return by 3.00 in the
evening, the group went to All Saints Church in Borella and waited in
Vigneshwaran who comes there in a white colour car along with another
man known as Anwar, asks for the receipt of Denver’s passport to collect
it for them. Vigneshwaran who departs with the receipt returns with the
new passport in no time. After showing the passport to Denver,
Vigneshwaran takes Rs.50, 000 for the air ticket and tells them to get
ready as the trip is scheduled for June 1.
However, in the last week of May, Vigneshwaran calls Asanta and tells
her that due to unavoidable reason the trip has been postponed
indefinitely. But with persistent requests made by Asanta to
Vigneshwaran and Sivasubramaniam, the latter tells the former to prepare
for the second flight on June 6. And also ask them to bring another
Rs.50, 000 in addition to the already paid amount. Vigneshwaran explains
to Asanta that Denver will be recruited to a company in Singapore which
is a joint venture by the former and his partner and that the additional
Rs.50, 000 is required to be paid to his partner.
On the night of June 6, Denver accompanied by his parents, his uncle
and aunt and other relations arrive at the Bandaranaike International
Airport. There they meet the other group including Vigneshwaran, his
assistant Anwar, Sivasubramaniam and three other males who had come to
leave for Singapore for foreign employment. After a fond farewell,
Denver leaves behind his kith and kin full of hope for a bright future.
The group boarded the flight that departed Colombo at 12.05am.
After four hours journey the group arrive at Changi International
Airport in Singapore, where they hire a cab and leave for the hotel. The
group is divided into several rooms and Denver is accompanied by
Vigneshwaran’s assistant Anwar. After spending the first day at the
hotel Denver learns that the other boys had been taken to their work
places. Here begins the countdown to a series of unpleasant events for
Denver where his dream is shattered. After sending the other three
youth, Vigneshwaran tells Denver that his appointment will take a couple
of days more and that they will move to a private apartment from the
hotel. The trio moves to an apartment on the following day and
Vigneshwaran goes out leaving Anwar and Denver behind. A strange
incident happens following this. Waiting until Denver has gone to the
toilet, Anwar steals his passport from his baggage.
In the meantime Vigneshwaran returns to the apartment and asks for
Denver’s passport. Denver who learns that his passport is missing tells
Vigneshwaran that somebody had stolen it.A furious Vigneshwaran then
makes a scathing attack on the youth and demands for the pocket money of
$100. After taking the cash, Vigneshwaran and Anwar tie Denver to a
chair and assault him unmercifully. Threatening Denver with death they
demand Denver to ask his family to pay them Rs.five million to release
Weakened by the physical assault and with fear for his life being
alone in a foreign country, Denver agrees to call his aunt requesting
money. With a breaking voice he tells his aunt to prepare Rs.five
million as soon as possible and transfer it to an account mentioned by
Vigneshwaran. Asanta. Realising the tragedy that had befallen his nephew
with promises made by Vigneshwaran to arrange the money soon. Having
informed Denver’s parents about this tragic event the relatives gather
Rs.100, 000 and transfer it to the account given by Vigneshwaran. And
with utter agitation they start looking for the rest of the money.
When the situation was progressing like this Vigneshwaran and Anwar
accompany Denver back to Sri Lanka on June 17. They hire a cab from the
airport and come to Pettah, where on the way Anwar get off the car.
Vigneshwaran takes Denver to a lodge in Kathiresan Street named Balagi
Lodge. There he instructed Denver to enter his name in the registry as
Joseph Mariyadas and follows instructions.
On the same day Vigneshwaran had called Asanta and demanded for the
rest of the money saying that they have brought the boy back to Sri
Lanka, and that he will be thrown into the Kelani River if the money is
not paid on time. She responds in a helpless manner saying only Rs.70,
000 was available at the moment and would transfer that money straight
away. The money was transferred to an account belonging to a name A H M
After receiving this call Asanta decides to report the case to the
police and visits Police Headquarters, where she informs the IGP Special
Complaints Unit. Following this she visits CCD and lodges the complaint
and explains the entire incident to OIC Neville De Silva.
CI Neville De Silva explaining the entire case to the Sunday Observer
said the duo had taken the boy to several other places in Dematagoda,
Maligawatta and Kollupitiya on the following day. When Denver had asked
for food, they had given him an ice cream from Carnival Ice Cream
parlour in Kollupitiya. They had then taken the boy to Pettah bus stand
and boarded him into a Mannar bound bus after taking his signature to
several blank documents threatening that he will be killed if he
complained to the police.
Denver had returned home on June 19, on the same day Asanta and her
husband returned to Mannar after lodging the complaint with the police.
Much relieved to see their son back, the relatives informed the CCD
about his arrival and took him back to Colombo on the same day.
CCD Unit 3 OIC Inspector Saman Premathilaka and Sub Inspector
Thushara Perera recorded a statement from Denver and commenced
investigations. A special team sent to Mannar arrested Sivasubramaniam
who was hiding in a different location. After questioning him the police
learnt that the suspect did not know the whereabouts of his accomplice
Vigneshwaran or Anwar.
The police then checked the phone calls made between Asanta and
Vigneshwaran and found a connection being registered to a man under the
name Rizwan in Grandpass. When Rizwan was questioned by the police he
said that he had helped Vigneshwaran with airline ticketing work. But he
did not know the whereabouts of Vigneshwaran. And also the phone with
the particular sim is with Vigneshwaran at the moment. So police let him
go for the moment.
In the meantime the CCD found that a young female model who had been
selected to the final 12 contenders of the Miss Sri Lanka pageant linked
to Vigneshwaran. When the particular phone number was dialled the female
model answered the call. The police questioned the model and learnt that
she was working part time for Vigneshwaran’s business promotional work.
And Vigneshwaran had given her the phone to use. Even she didn’t know
the whereabouts of Vigneshwaran.
However, the girl told police that Vigneshwaran’s mother was
hospitalised a couple of days ago over a heart failure and she was soon
discharged. She had gone to see the patient with Vigneshwaran and
another person called Anwar. The police immediately checked for the CCTV
cameras of the private hospital in Colombo and found the footages of
Vigneshwaran, the model and the other man Anwar being none other than
Rizwan, whom they interrogated and released a few days ago.
The police immediately arrested Rizwan and upon further questioning
he admits being Anwar and leads the police to a secret hideout in
Wellampitiya. The mastermind of the abduction and extortion drama
Vigneshwaran was taken into custody by the CCD on October 1 and was
remanded with Anwar on the following day before Colombo Chief
Vigneshwaran was found to be a fake name. his true name being
Vishwanadan Dushyanthan aged 23 and having no permanent address. He was
the son of a one time successful gold jeweller in Dematagoda and after
his father’s demise had engaged in various illegal activities. There are
two cases pending in the Fort and Dehiwala Police Stations with open
warrants to arrest him on the spot. Sivasubramaniam was also remanded on
July 18. The gang had stolen money amounting to Rs.400, 000 from Denver
and his family volunteering to help them find foreign employment.
Director CCD SSP Roshan Silva said that people should be careful and
not trust strangers with money and favours. He said the CCD will not
hesitate to bring such criminals before the law at any given time.
CCD Unit 3 OIC IP Saman Premathilaka, SI Thushara Perera, PS
Yasaratne (30501), Constables Wickramanayake (84333), Piyadasa (87159)
and Chandana (77511) conducted the investigations under CCD OIC Neville
De Silva and Director Roshan Silva.