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Sri Lanka bars former defence secretary from leaving country

” Police said the weapons were found on the Mahanuwara Naukawa ship which is registered in Sri Lanka and added that 3,000 weapons were found in the 12 containers.”

Colombo(NERVE) – A Sri Lankan court on Monday temporarily banned a former defence secretary from leaving the country over an ongoing investigation.

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Gotabaya Rajapakse, who was the country’s defence secretary during the previous government headed by his brother and former president Mahinda Rajapakse, is currently under probe for his alleged links with two security firms, Xinhua news agency reported.

He was questioned by the police at his residence in the capital Colombo last month over his alleged links with the armouries maintained by the Avant-Garde security firm and Rakna Lanka Limited, another security firm.

The court also issued an order to former navy commander Somathilake Dissanayake and two others restraining them from travelling abroad over the Avant-Garde probe.

Avant-Garde and Rakna Lanka are private security firms that provide security to ships against Somali pirates.

The companies were formed in 2012 to replace the foreign companies which ran these services.

Their weapons were also stored in the armouries of the Sri Lanka Navy.

In January, police seized a large number of weapons from inside 12 containers on a ship in the southern part of the country and investigations revealed that the arms belonged to the Avant-Garde security firm.

Police said the weapons were found on the Mahanuwara Naukawa ship which is registered in Sri Lanka and added that 3,000 weapons were found in the 12 containers.

The police also searched the Rakna Lanka Armoury located in Colombo for illegally stored weapons.

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