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Gem merchant cleaned up by gang posing as police
*More than Rs 20 million worth gems, cash and jewellery robbed
An armed gang that had gained entry into the residence of a wealthy gem businessman at Laggala, Matale on Thursday night, by claiming to be from the police, escaped with about Rs. 20 million in gems, jewellery and cash after handcuffing the inmates.

The gang forced themselves into the residence of the gem businessman, popularly known as ‘Mutu Mudalali’ at Moratenne, Laggala around 9.00 pm claiming that they were from the Walana-based Police Anti-Vice Strike Force and they had information about there being firearms in the house.

They immediately handcuffed the businessman and demanded gems and cash from him. At that time, only the businessman’s wife and children were in the house with him.

The gang, numbering five, then locked up the wife and children in a room and threatened to harm them, upon which the businessman handed over eight million rupees in cash and more than ten million worth of gems and gold jewellery to them.

Having collected the loot, the robbers locked up the businessman in another room and escaped in a van. Two of the robbers were clad in camouflage uniforms similar to those worn by the army. Investigations have revealed that all five robbers were young men.

Three police teams, under the supervision of Matale Senior Superintendent of Police, Sajeeva Medawatte, have been deployed to track down the robbers.