By Yoshitha Perera
Recommendations for visas were being processed for 25 foreign nationals who served as labourers at ‘Colossus’, a company which was owned by Easter Sunday suicide bomber Inshaf Ahmed Ibrahim, through the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, it was informed the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing Easter Sunday attacks last Friday.
Responding to a question raised by the Commissioners, Manager of Colossus Sanun Mohammed Ishad said that the company management had decided to recruit foreign workers to the factory due to the knowledge they had, to operate the machines in the factory. Earlier, testifying before the Commission former Secretary of Industry and Commerce Ministry K.D. Ranjith Ashoka said that the Copper exporting factory ‘Colossus’ had a Nepalese, two Bangladeshis and 22 Indians as foreign labourers.
However, Ishad informed the Commission that most of the copper tubes manufactured by the factory were exported to India. He added that although Inshaf Ahmed Ibrahim was the owner of Colossus, in early April 2019, the company ownership was transferred to Mohammed Yusuf Ibrahim and Mohammed Shika, the wife of Inshaf Ahmed Ibrahim.
He further stated that between 2012 and 2019, 370 containers of 20 tons each have been exported.
“Inshaf Ahmed was my childhood friend, and he used to come to the office regularly. But since mid-2018 to April 2019, there was a change in Inshaf’s behaviour and he didn’t come to office on a regular basis,” Ishad informed the Commission.
He said that Inshaf used to spend his time with his children and his wife and to visit his mother who was staying at the Mahavila park. The witness also informed the Commission that the two brothers, Inshaf and Ilham, also worked at their father’s Rishana Export company, and later they quit from their father’s business stating that it was a sin committed by their father by taking loans and interest from banks.
Ishad added that the two brothers Inshaf and Ilham had learned Arabic along with Jameel in a conference room at the company, three years ago. Jameel was the suicide bomber who blasted himself in the Tropical Inn at Dehiwala.
“On April 17, 2019, Inshaf visited his office at around 1.30 pm and handed over a cheque for Rs. 34 million and asked me to cash it. Ishaf said to deposit Rs. 5.5 million to his brother Iflal Ahmed’s account, Rs. 27.5 million to his account and asked to keep the remaining Rs. 01 million in the locker,” he said.
Witness said that Inshaf came to the office on April 18 again and gave him another cheque of Rs.5.4 million and later he got all Rs.6.4 million with him and went off.
He said that Inshaf had given him 10 black cheques and handed over the book and the documents of his new jeep, before he left the office.
Witness added that Inshaf had booked air tickets to Malaysia for April 23, 2019, to travel with his family and from Malaysia he wanted to visit Mecca with the family in May 2019.
“Inshaf had been undergoing such a change for about one-and-a-half-year period and I never thought that Inshaf would do something like this,” he said.
- Ishad informed the Commission that most of the copper tubes manufactured by the factory were exported to India