The ‘Salaka Regino’ casino that was raided by the organized crime investigation unit of the police on November 04 had been run by the wives of a government minister and a leading businessman, internal police sources say.
According to the sources, the casino had operated in the Town Hall area without any disruption on the protection of a top official of the Defence Ministry.
The minister in question had sent to his sister-in-law in Italy part of the millions of rupees his ministry had received through tenders and contracts, and had got her to invest the same money under her name in the casino.
However, the minister’s wife got into a dispute with the businessman’s wife and the latter had taken over the management of the place.
She had even refused to return the money invested by the minister’s sister-in-law on the strength of her connection with the top defence ministry official.
The minister had then tipped off the police regarding the casino, and during the raid, 43 persons, including several top Army officials had been arrested.
However, barely 24 hours later, the 23 policemen who had been in the raiding party, had been given immediate transfers on the influence of a top official of the government, said UNP leadership council chairman Karu Jayasuriya in a statement.