Feb 26, Kataragama: Sri Lanka police have arrested 15 people who were mining a land in Kataragama believed to be a newly discovered gem land.
The Police have also seized 11 vehicles belonging to the suspects charged of removing earth from the purported gem mine.
The southern town of Kataragama was once again in chaos Saturday as rumors spread of finding another land with a large gem deposit and thousands of people arriving from all over the island to try their fortune.
The new site in Viharamahadevigama is situated close to the four-acre land in Thammennawa that was auctioned on Friday by the Gem and Jewellery Authority.
The people flocked to the area despite the announcement by Police, Gem and Jewellery Authority and the Forest Conservation Officers that the new site was not a mine.
imal Bandara, Chairman of Gem and Jewellery Authority, said that he visited the land with the police
and the officials of the Ministry of Environment and by that time also there were around 10,000 people trying their luck.
Police seized 11 lorries, trucks and vans that were carrying earth from the location, to bring the situation under control.
The Officer-In-Charge of the Kataragama Police has asked the people not to be duped by rumors and waste their valuable time and money.