By Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana
The janitor attached to the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), who was nabbed with the largest heist of gold in history amounting to Rs. 220 million by the Customs, had reportedly carried smuggled gold out of the airport on six previous occasions.
Preliminary investigations conducted by the officials of the Customs Narcotic Control Unit had unearthed that the suspect janitor had been used by a third party within the country to receive the gold smuggled into the country by a ‘carrier’ passenger through the airport.
Customs sources told the Daily Mirror that upon interrogation, the suspect had divulged that he had been paid a sum of Rs.100,000 for each turn of secretly bringing out the smuggled gold.
Likewise, the suspect had brought out packages of gold on six previous occasions and the recent before the last was on March 31st. It is believed that he had previously taken out portions of gold approximately weighing around four to five kilos as per his own statement.
The suspect had been identified as a resident of Negombo and an experienced janitor at the BIA with a service of 13 years. He used to report to work main for night shifts and had been working on every other day, the sources said.
The Customs detectives had started watching his moves for several weeks, as he was constantly entering the airport visitors’ rest rooms and then exiting from the lobby area to the outside, which roused the suspicion of the sleuths.
The Customs officials have sought the assistance of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to track down the phone calls between the janitor and any outside party that is suspected to have been involved in the massive gold smuggling racket.
The janitor was sacked from all airport duties after he was imposed a penalty of Rs.500,000 by the Customs, whilst further probe is underway.