By Sujith Hewajulige, Pathum Dharshana and Dayarathna Embogama
The Horowpothana Police said yesterday that they had arrested a construction engineer who was alleged to have millions to National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ) leader Mohamed Zahran to help him construct mosques in the North Central Province.
The arrest was made in Dehiwala yesterday
According to investigations, the suspect, 53-year-old Mohamed Saheem Nazurdeen is a close friend of suicide bomber Zahran who was killed in the Shangri-La hotel bomb blast. A team of police officers including Horowpothana OIC IP Roshan Sanjeewa had taken the suspect into custody from a house on Kawdana Road in Dehiwala.
A top police officer said that the suspect had worked in Saudi Arabia as a construction engineer for more than 10 years and after returning to Sri Lanka he had continued in this profession. It was learnt that Nazurdeen had given money from time to time to construct mosques belonging to Thawheed Jamaat in Paththewa in Horowpothana and Ellawa in Kebithigollewa in the North Central Province.
He said that the suspect had been in contact with an individual named Abubakar who had been identified as the NTJ leader in charge of the Horowpothana and Kebithigollewa areas who was abroad at present.
The authorities were conducting investigations to find out how the suspect received the funds that were used for NTJ activities. Arrangements are being made to check the bank accounts belonging to the suspect. Suspicions have arisen as to whether Nazurdeen had helped to carry out the Easter Sunday attack and the authorities have been given 72 hours to question the suspect under the provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
Further investigations are being carried out on the orders of the North Central/ Wayamba Province OIC Senior DIG Jagath Abesiriwardena and North Central Province OIC DIG Prathap Sandungahawatta.