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The Colombo Chief Magistrate today issued an order directing the Wildlife Department that 15 elephants taken into its custody following CID investigations be temporarily released to the claimants to take part in the upcoming Kandy Esala Perahera.
Each elephant was released on a bond of Rs. 10 million by Chief Magistrate Lal Ranasinghe Bandara consequent to requests by several elephant owners.
The fifteen elephants were temporally released for a period of 20 days between July 27 and August 15.
Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris appearing on behalf of the Attorney had told Court that the prosecutors would not raise objections to release these elephants to take part in the upcoming Kandy Esala Perahera.
Prosecutors maintained that 38 illegally caught wild elephant have been taken into Wildlife Department custody following CID investigations into a racket where illegally caught wild elephant calves were sold to third parties.
The prosecutors alleged that the suspect Samarappulige Niraj Roshan alias Ali Roshan was the mastermind behind the racket where illegally caught wild elephant calves being sold to third parties. The prosecutors alleged investigations have revealed that the suspect was directly involved in selling 39 wild elephants and the captured elephants calves being sold for a period of 15 years.
Senior Counsel Ajith Pathirana appeared for the elephant owners. Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris appeared for the Attorney General.