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CID arrests three suspects over online scam

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The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) revealed information about an organised racket operated by three suspects who deceive the people posting online advertisements in order to steal money from their bank accounts.

The Computer Crime Investigation Division of the CID has already arrested the three persons involved in this racket in Kandy yesterday (16).

The suspects aged between 25 and 30 are residents of Kandy, Talatuoya and Medawachchiya.

A senior CID officer has told the Dinamina newspaper that these suspects call the phone numbers mentioned in online advertisements from phone numbers registered under others.

“They request the seller not to sell the item mentioned in that ad to anyone else. They plead with the seller and say they will deposit a little amount right away and the rest of the money will be paid in a few days. These people speak in such a way that the advertiser develops sympathy towards the caller and builds trust. Finally, after the advertiser expressed his interest in selling the product to these people, they ask for a bank account number in order to transfer money online. After transferring a little amount, these people talk to the advertiser to check if they have received. At the same time, they say that there is a code number and if possible to let them know what it is. Those who do not understand what this number is, give it right away. What happens is that these people use that number to access the account of the advertiser and get the money credited to another bank account,” he said.

The officer urged the public never to handover the password or the OTP number they receive from the bank to anyone else.

Investigations have revealed that all the three suspects arrested in Kandy are heavily addicted to drugs.

One suspect checks ads on social media sites and other websites and makes calls to the advertisers.

The other suspect sneaks into the advertiser’s accounts through the OTP number, steals the money and transfers it to another account.

The third suspect withdraws the money credited to the other account using an ATM card.

It has been revealed that they have infiltrated 80 bank accounts and stolen more than Rs.6 million.

The Computer Crime Investigation Division has received 20 complaints regarding such frauds.

The suspects have been arrested following a complaint filed by a Marawila resident who got caught in this fraud. He had posted an advertisement on a website to sell a generator.

The suspects have stolen Rs. 1.8 million from the victim.

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SLFP to support no-confidence motion against the Speaker

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The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) has announced its endorsement of the no-confidence motion to be brought against the Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.

Accordingly, the SLFP announced that it will support the motion being brought against the Speaker by the opposition, and will vote in favour of it.

On Monday (26 Feb.), several Opposition members, led by Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Leader Sajith Premadasa, signed a motion of no confidence against the Speaker, claiming that he had violated the Constitution.

As such, a group of MPs belonging to the opposition in Parliament including M. A. Sumanthiran, Lakshman Kiriella, Prof. G. L. Pieris, Tissa Attanayake, Chandima Weerakkody and Shan Wijayalal de Silva, had inked the motion for approving the much-disputed Online Safety Bill amidst ‘irregular procedures’.

The no-confidence motion pointed out that the Speaker had ignored the Supreme Court’s recommendations pertaining to Sections 13, 17, 20, 33 (6), 34 (1), 35 (1), 21, 22 and 33 of the Online Safety Bill.

Earlier this month, Opposition Leader charged that the Speaker had ignored nine recommendations given by the Supreme Court while enacting the Online Safety Act, adding that they no longer have faith in him.

(adaderana.lk)

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School outdoor activities suspended over soaring temperatures

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The Education Ministry has instructed all respective school authorities to refrain from making students participate in strenuous outdoor activities until Friday (March 01) at schools as temperatures are expected to rise further.

Accordingly, Sports Day events, sports practices or any other scheduled outdoor activities are urged to be suspended for the time being.

Provincial and zonal authorities of education have been instructed to brief school principals about the matter, the ministry said in a press release.

In addition, school administrations are required to comply with the health guidelines issued by the Health Ministry and the Education Ministry.

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Court suspends divestiture process of SLT & Lanka Hospitals

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The Court of Appeal yesterday (27) issued an interim order preventing authorities from proceeding with the divestiture process of Sri Lanka Telecom and Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC, until March 12.

Three Petitions were filed for Sri Lanka Telecom PLC including by Lyca Mobiles, and S.M.R. M company, while two petitions were filed for Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC including by Lyca Leasing Holdings.

Upon the oral submissions made by President’s Counsel Kuvera De Zoysa, Court of Appeal Justice D.N. Samarakoon issued notices on respondents, returnable for March 12.

The petitioners named Minister of Finance Ranil Wickremesinghe, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe, the members of the special Cabinet-appointed negotiating committee for the purpose of selecting pre-qualified bidders for the strategic divestiture pertaining to 51.34% shares of Lanka Hospitals PLC and several others as respondents.

Kuvera De Zoysa, PC with Raslka Dissanayake, Sajana de Zoysa, Dinusha Pathirana and Shablr Huzalr instructed by Sanath Wijewardane appeared for the petitioners.

The petitioners had informed the court that they had submitted bids per the required criteria for the divestiture of the Sri Lankan Government’s shares of 50.23% in Sri Lanka Telecom PLC and 51.34% in Lanka Hospitals Corporation PLC.

The petitioners alleged that, however, the Cabinet of Ministers had rejected the bids without providing any clear explanations, adding that the decision was against the law.

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