Five persons, including two clerks of the Batticaloa Land Registrar’s office, have been remanded for alleged involvement in an illegal land transaction involving 14 acres of beachfront land. They are charged with using forged deeds to acquire and sell land belonging to two foreigners.
Two Swiss nationals, Hans Rudolf Burkhalter and Kurt Stoll, purchased two plots of seven acres each in Pasikudah, in the Batticaloa district, in 1979, Police told Valachchenai Magistrate A. N. M. Reyal. A caretaker was hired to look after the land, but he disappeared in 2006.
The fraud was committed in early 2009. Initially, the two plots, totalling 14 acres, were sold for Rs 400,000, and then resold for the same sum a few months later. In June last year, the two plots were sold again, this time for Rs. 30 million and Rs. 27 million to Madura Vithanage, a Western Province Provincial Council member. Five months later, the land was sold yet again for Rs. 160 million to a Colombo-based company involved in tourism.
The suspects are A. E. Saminathan (Notary Public); Mohammed Hakeem; (the person involved in the transaction); Mohammed Amanullah (Grama Sevaka and assistant to the Notary Public); Kumarasamy Manikkawasagar (employee of the Land Registrar); and Muthah Logeshwaran (employee of the Land Registrar).
Attorney-at-Law and retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Jayakumar Thangavelu, appeared for the two Swiss nationals.