The Criminal Investigation Department conducting investigations into the dispatch of a false e-mail discrediting the tourism promotion program in Hikkaduwa, has arrested four suspects connected to this false e-mail campaign, Police Spokesman Senior DIG Nimal Mediwaka said yesterday.
A CID team led by IP Senaratne under the supervision of DIG Nandana Munasinghe commenced investigations into the incident following a complaint lodged by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau Director on August, 19, 2009, to the CID Director about the false e-mail campaign on the Hikkaduwa, tourism promotion campaign.
According to the report submitted by the CID regarding the investigations, the CID team has found that the false e-mail has originated from a subscriber of the Sri Lanka Telecom.
After receiving a report from the Sri Lanka Telecom the CID team has been able to detect that the e-mail had originated from an institute at Park Road, Colombo 05 which had subscribed to the internet service of the Sri Lanka Telecom.
Following this investigation, on September,16, two employees attached to this firm were arrested by the Police after obtaining a warrant order from the Colombo Magistrate Court to search the place for the alleged distribution of the false e-mail through internet.
On September 17, another suspect who had kept the documents relating to the false e-mail and distributed it was also arrested.
They were arrested on the suspicion that they have entered the false e-mail into the internet and they have been remanded till September 22 after producing before the Courts, Police Spokesman DIG Mediwaka added.
After questioning the suspects, it has been revealed that the original e-mail Hikka Beach Fest has been sent by a person serving as a supply officer attached to the Tourism Ministry. He has also been arrested by the Police on September 20 and the CID team is conducting further investigations. It has been confirmed that the photographs included in this e-mail were from a collection of photographs published on the Dubai Beach at Night in the year 2006.
The Police report also states that during the Hikkaduwa beach festival nearly 5,000 to 10,000 people attended the event from July 30 to August 02 and they had been provided with bands for their identification and naked and half-naked dancing were completely banned during this festival.
Police investigations have also confirmed that naked and half naked people appearing in the photographs of the defamatory e-mail were not in fact present during this festival.
The complaint in this regard was lodged after Tourism Promotions Minister received this defamatory e-mail Hikkafest with sex on August 14 and August 16 from the e-mail address email@example.com.
Police are conducting further investigations under the Provisions of the 2007, No. 24 Computer Crimes Act.