400 million ransoms paid by abducted Muslim businessmen
(LeN- 2007 June 07, 8.00 pm) Over 400 million rupees have been collected as ransom from around 6 Muslim businessmen who were abducted from Colombo during the period of a month.
Here is a breakdown of the sums each of the abducted Muslim businessman has paid.
100 million rupees from M. Rafeek, the owner of Expo Lanka
50 million from Mubarak chairman of Nolimit
100 million from Fousal Hameed the Chairman of the Hameedias
60 million from RIshak Hajjiar owner of Asian Hardware
30 million from M. Yousuf chairman of Trust Lanka
60 million from Vasu the owner of Devi Jewellers
Speaking to the media former deputy mayor of the Colombo municipal council Asath Salley said the statement made by government defense spokesperson Minister Keheliya Rambukwella that no Muslim businessman except for the owner of Trust Lanka has been abducted is baseless, as several of them were abducted and freed after paying massive sums of ransoms. He said they are not divulging any information regarding the matter as they fear for their lives.
Salley revealed the incident where ransom was collected from the Trust Lanka owner saying that he was first sent a fax asking to meet a group of foreign delegates who were in Sri Lanka to assign persons to recruit employees to be sent to the middle eat countries. He was asked to come to a hotel in Kandy saying that the situation in Colombo was not too conducive.
According to Salley several Muslim businessmen were held back at the hotel and demanded ransom from them. But the abductors could not collect ransom from most of them owing to various reasons. However the owner of Trust Lanka was held back in the Hotel and demanded 60 million rupees for his release. However after bargaining the sum was reduced to 22.5 million rupees. The abductors had asked the businessman to get his people to bring the money in a lorry and given certain numbers of high ranking police and army officials in case they are stopped at Check points.
But Nisthar was not released immediately as his abduction was published in an electronic media and the balance amount making up the 30 million was also collected from Nisthar?s family.
He was then release after 1 1/2 days and his vehicle was found by police from the Gelioya area. Salley says Nisthar has not even been questioned regarding the incident.