By Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana
A large scale Kasippu brewing den, which had been carried out for 18 years, camouflaged in the dense wetlands of the Diyawanna Lake within a mile’s radius of the Sri Lanka Parliament was busted by the Excise Department officials yesterday.
Colombo Excise Station officials following a lengthy probe managed to break into a major moonshine distilling den, which had been carried out in a very secretive manner for 18 years in one of the country’s top high security zones.
Excise Department Spokesman Deputy Director Kapila Kumarasinghe told the Daily Mirror a large stock of Kasippu was seized during the detection worth over Rs.600,000 along with three suspects from the site.
The sleuths managed to work out on information received from a single suspect who usually comes out a narrow creek camouflaged in the dense Salvinia layer of the marshland that leads to the secret den.
Having taken him into custody and with lengthy interrogation they were able to persuade the suspect to lead them into the hidden spot of the Diyawanna wetlands, where the other two suspects were nabbed.
It was no easy trip to make as regular boats were unable to penetrate through the Salvinia layer as the sleuths had to rely on the makeshift metal dinghy rafts prepared by suspects from the old Kasippu barrels.
An Excise source told the Daily Mirror that the mastermind behind the illicit business, identified as Camillus was a notorious law breaker, who had been sentenced by courts on many occasions for the same.
He was reportedly operating the entire network of production and distribution of booze in such way that not even those who work at the site gets to know who distributes them.
OIC Colombo Excise Station Chief Inspector Chanaka Nanayakkara is conducting inquiries with his Excise Inspectors Gamini, Ajantha, Excise Sergeant Major Kumanayake, Excise Guards Dhananjaya, Indika, Ravindra, Aravinda, Nalin, Anurasiri, Nilantha, Ekanayake, Kamburugamuwa and Lanka on the instructions of Excise Commissioner General A. Bodaragama, Additional Commissioner General Wasantha Dissanayake, Assistant Commissioner Shanthadeva Silva and Excise Superintendent Sharman Rathnayake.
The arrested suspects will be produced before Hulftsdorp Magistrate’s Court No. 05.