Sri Lanka: Police arrested 3 people who were selling items stolen from the President’s house.

Three men have been arrested by Sri Lankan police for trying to sell 40 gold bronze sockets stolen from the president’s house following unprecedented anti-government protests following the country’s worst economic crisis. .

On July 9, anti-government protesters occupied the official residence of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the private home of former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The mob also set fire to Wickremesinghe’s private residence.

On July 9, three men were arrested after entering the President’s house in the Fort during a protest with 40 gold-plated brass sockets fixed to hang on the window curtains, the online newspaper Daily Mirror reported.

Wolkada Police also said that they arrested the suspects while they were trying to sell the looted items on Sunday.

The arrested suspects are 28, 34 and 37 years old, residents of Obeysekarapura in Rajagiriya. Police said the three were suspected drug addicts.

They will be handed over to the Colombo (North) Criminal Investigation Department, the report said.

An initial investigation revealed that no less than 1,000 worth of items were missing from the Presidential Palace and the Prime Minister’s official residence.

Special investigation teams have been formed to begin investigations, web portal Colombo Page quoted police sources as saying on Saturday.

Adding to the woes of the investigating police is the fact that Sri Lanka’s Department of Archeology does not have a detailed record of the antiquities and various artefacts found in the Presidential Palace, even though it is considered a site of archaeological importance, the report said. .

Newly elected President Wickremesinghe has said that he will respect the right of protesters to hold peaceful demonstrations, but he will not allow another government building to be confiscated.

Wickremesinghe said he had authorized the Sri Lankan armed forces and police to take necessary measures to prevent people from entering public institutions and disrupting parliament.

Stating that the occupation of government buildings is illegal, he warned that legal action would be taken against the occupation. Protesters set fire to Wickremesinghe’s private residence and occupied his office during the protest.

Sri Lanka has seen months of civil unrest over an economic crisis and many blame the former government of ousted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his family for mismanaging the island’s economy.

Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, is in the grip of an unprecedented economic crisis, the worst in seven decades, with millions struggling to afford food, medicine, fuel and other essentials. Sri Lanka’s total external debt has reached $51 billion.

This story was reprinted from a wire agency feed without revisions to the text. Only the title has been changed.

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