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Crime

Fear in Mirigama and Pallewela as illicit liquor takes lives

The Criminal Investigation Department has taken over the probe into alleged multiple fatal poisoning from illicit liquor in the Pallewela and Mirigama areas, Police Spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara told reporters today 5 Aug.

The poisoning has claimed multiple lives and the Spokesman’s office said that it is yet not sure how many people have succumbed to the Moonshine.

Gunesekara added that the Officer In Charge (OIC) of the Pallewala police has been transferred to the Kalutara Superintendent of Police’s office by acting IGP with the covering approval from The National Police Commission.

This was in response to public complaints against this officer, IP Kamal Rathnayake (Pallewala OIC), who allegedly did not heed information about the illicit liquor being sold in the area the Police Spokesman said.

An investigation is launched by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) at Police HQ to look into how OIC had acted in this incident and about the actions he had taken against the illicit brewers.

Relating to the incident the SIU will also look to take directions from the Police Legal Division as to whether there was criminal negligence by the OIC.

At least five people are dead allegedly due to consuming illicit liquor, although police said the death toll could be higher. They said some reports said that the toll was high as 13 but there was no confirmation.

Police said a body of a man had been recovered from a field in Waththemulla and another from a house in the Udulla area.

Some reports said that the illicit liquor had been made in the Mirigama area and transported to Baduragoda where it had been sold to consumers.

Consumers of the brew had developed nausea and stomach cramps while others had a loss of vision, reports from the area said.

Police added that those affected are reportedly in several hospitals including the Ragama General Hospital.