10 July, 2020

Blog

Cabinet Spokesman Invites “Black Money” Holders To Deposit Cash In Lanka; Anti Corruption Activists Aghast

Anti-corruption activists have raised grave concerns about the formal and very public invitation from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Government to investors engaging in serious financial crimes to park their “black money” in Sri Lanka’s commercial banks just months after Sri Lanka

At a press briefing on 1 May, 2020 Spokesman for the Cabinet of Ministers Minister Bandula Gunawardane said that expatriate Sri Lankans and local and foreign investors could deposit unlimited foreign currencies including “black money” in special deposit accounts at any private commercial bank in Sri Lanka.

In a letter addressed to the Secretary to the President, the Inspector General of Police and host of other Government officials, good governance activist and former head of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Chandra Jayaratne said he was “appalled” by the news quoting Gunawardane that black money holders were formally invited to deposit foreign exchange in Sri Lanka receive premium investment yields. Jayaratne noted that according to Gunawardane, all such deposits will be free from any restrictions under local statues and regulatory framework

The letter calls on the officials to “advise” the cabinet of ministers that the shift in policy towards money laundering could have consequences on Sri Lanka’s ratings for compliance with global anti-money laundering initiatives and measures.

Jayaratne said that over the past several years, officials at the Central Bank, the Sri Lanka Police, the AG’s Department and the ministries of Finance, Justice and Foreign Affairs together with the CID, FCID and the Bribery Commission had taken several strategic initiatives collectively to reverse Sri Lanka’s negative rankings on money laundering risk.

The invitation comes only seven months after Sri Lanka was removed from international terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force’s ‘grey list’. FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other threats to the integrity of the international financial system. In October 2019, FATF said Sri Lanka had made significant progress in addressing the strategic anti-money laundering deficiencies the body had previously identified.

In his letter Jayaratne warned of the consequential impact of national jurisdictional risks if Sri Lanka were reversed to its previous FATF rating as a country on the body’s Grey List.

The Special Deposit Accounts were announced by the Rajapaksa Government as the country faced an unprecedented foreign reserves crisis. It was a follow up to a desperate appeal from the Central Bank to Sri Lankans around the world to deposit their foreign currency in Sri Lankan banks “as a gesture of goodwill” for at least a three month period.

Already economically vulnerable Sri Lanka’s economy is being dealt a death blow by the corona virus which has shut down production in the country for over a month and cut export forecasts by over 40 percent for 2020. Since the beginning of 2020 Sri Lanka has had its credit rating downgraded twice by Fitch Ratings and was recently given a distrastrous B Negative rating. Fitch Ratings said Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves were in the range of USD 7.2 billion while the country owed over USD 3.2 billion in foreign debt payments between May and December 2020.

“Fitch estimates Sri Lanka’s external liquidity ratio, defined as liquid external assets/external liabilities, at about 64%, among the weakest in the ‘B’ rating category,” the rating agency said in its media release about the downgrade of Sri Lanka’s credit rating.

In a bizarre development the Sir Lankan Government under President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has taken to slamming Fitch Ratings for the downgrades and insisting that by the Government’s own calculations the country was in good economic health.

This week, the Economist rated Sri Lanka among the weakest of 66 emerging market economies, with a ranking of 61 in terms of its strength to face the economic crisis created by the corona virus. The only countries weaker than Sri Lanka, according to the Economist ranking were Angola, Bahrain, Zambia, Lebanon and Venezuela.

In the background of this devastating economic outlook, official invitations from the Government to money launderers and financial criminals would only erode confidence in the country’s financial system and warn off big investors who would view this policy as one of very high risk, financial experts warned.

Furthermore, the invitation would gravely endanger Sri Lanka’s foreign investments as powerful countries around the world are likely to include these statements as indicators of major risk in their country reports on Sri Lanka, scaring off investors.

It was unlikely that even well known money laundering destinations in the Caribbean Ocean and elsewhere in the world have ever publicly invited tainted money into their jurisdictions, financial experts said. (Chinthika De Silva)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 17
    1

    Money Laundering I wonder if we will have a comment from the crudaser against former CB Governor Coomaraswamy I refer to Muttukumaru who has been long silent Maybe no ink in his pen

    • 13
      1

      Sri Lanka had already been blacklisted as a haven for money laundering. This statement from a government minister confirms it without doubt. Sri Lanka is virtually bankrupt and all illegal methods will be adopted to raise funds to be solvent. Everything is pointing out to a situation like pre 77 period when people searched dustbin for food.

    • 4
      2

      Ruwan Silva

      “I wonder if we will have a comment from the crudaser against former CB Governor Coomaraswamy I refer to Muttukumaru who has been long silent Maybe no ink in his pen”

      Could you clarify whatever you have typed above.

  • 6
    0

    It should read Crusader sorry for the typo

  • 20
    1

    The TERM – Black is their head word. GIve us please any good example where current govt is not black ?

    Bandula Gunawardhana has no right to mislead this nation again – this man was branded to be king of DONKEYs of the world. He has not the least knowledge about he danger before the country. PM is an another having made the conuntry as the LEADING nation to have been caught by CHINESE debt trap.
    Not just MR but whereever STUPID and low educated leaders are there were angled by CHINESE govt in order them to addict with their kind of so called ” chinese investments to the develping countries”:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgXLfDApqR0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6rCyz71Lcc
    :
    Most of those develping nations working with CHINA today are fallen that deep – being unable to pay off their huge loans – Angola is one of the states whose inflation rates rose up to 52% or more thanks to so call road and constrution in that country – which is now left to be with ghost cities – people in that country earns less than 3 dollars a day bu thow can they afford appartment in high tech cities ?

  • 34
    3

    Black money is associated with Mahinda Family. Did the Minister ask Basil and Gota to invest in Srilanka instead of USA? Can Mahinda bring back some money from his foreign investments? Can Gotabaya reveals what happened to the LTTE money given by KP?

    • 10
      1

      Ajith,
      .
      whole lot of prima facie evidence is there to prove that RASCAL FAMILY is the main virus of this nation, but very same people and whole lot of PASCAL LIKE ballige puthas… would not see it right yet. Even if their lovely ones would have been raped away… they would not stop not prostrating… the kind servile nature is born in srilanken culture for such a long time. These people are abused as human shield rascal Rajakashes in his political masturbation. This is very sad, but it is the bitter truth.

    • 6
      0

      The game here is they are planning to bring their $18B. They are nervous from the time 5 countries gave that info to Mangala. They were not sacred of Mangala, after all he passed the Foreign Exchange Fraud Amnesty act of 2017 to save Old Royals foreign investment. But they are scared if in any possible international investigation if they are accused as war criminal, the banks in those countries will free the money. Until that the 18B is lot of investment they will do nothing.

      Here they think if they bring large amounts in, it may trigger foreign countries to check what is happening. This way their share will look minimal.

  • 5
    27

    Extraordinary times…………
    Extraordinary problems…..
    Need
    Extraordinary solutions…..

    • 7
      0

      Once a crook always a crook, there is nothing extraordinary about this at all!

    • 6
      2

      Why not simply sign the MCC and get 480 million Dollars? Or has Trump taken that offer off the table?

      • 5
        3

        old codger

        In 2005 just before the presidential elections, Mahinda/Gota/Basil paid Rs 185 million to LTTE for the purpose of rigging the elections.

        Is it a punishable crime bribing to rig elections?
        Is it a punishable crime funding or dealing with a terrorist organisation?
        Was the money subjected to Tax?
        Where did the clan get such a large amount of unearned income?
        What was the source of the money, blackmail and income from ransom, illegal drug import and distribution, prostitution, other scams, robbery, looting, ….. ?
        …..
        …..
        Why didn’t Mangala proceed with his FCID investigated cases?
        Has the clan caught him also by his b***s?

        • 2
          3

          Native,
          Never mind all that. I hear Rohitha Abeygunawardana, aka Rathharan is looking for a ship big enough to bring all that black money. He is also arranging painters from his electorate to paint the black money green.

          https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DUfTOoE6JRNs&ved=2ahUKEwjWjKnHsZnpAhWbbX0KHV3hDm0QjjgwBXoECAcQAQ&usg=AOvVaw0FqxNbb898GQHP4b9B_z1N

        • 3
          3

          Native (Fake) Vedda,
          The decision taken by Mahinda/Gota/Basil to give money to your Sun God Demala megalomaniac shows their strategic planning ability. Dumb Ahole swallowed the bait because he thought Rajapakshes don’t have guts to take military action against LTTE and will be easier to get his dreamland ‘Eelam’ for the descendants of ‘Para’ slaves in Yapanaya.
          Dumbos like you can raise all kinds of questions but Native Sinhalayo do not care from where the money came as long as Rajapakshes managed to send that megalomaniac barbarian who was boasting that LTTE cannot be defeated militarily to hell.
          Just imagine the amount of money and human lives (Sinhala, Demala, Muslim) saved by giving Rs. 185 million. Returns to investment is so high and cannot be quantified easily.

    • 5
      1

      SCP sound like a pohottu idiot:-)

    • 3
      1

      S.C Pasqual: You are a great “Intellectual” to say “Need Extraordinary solutions….” Why you did not continue that in saying ” Leda Marunath Bada Giyane” ( Even if the patient is dead, he cleared his stomach). We need many of your types. Have courage (even Dutch) and continue to be with us.

    • 5
      1

      S. C. Passqual

      “Extraordinary times…………
      Extraordinary problems…..
      Need
      Extraordinary solutions…..”

      Hence country needs extraordinary compassionate people with integrity, honesty, possess bid of gray matter, democratised secular leadership, …………. not crooks, not murderers, not war criminals, not public racists, not dimwits, not psychopaths, ………………………….

      You need not to apply.

      • 1
        2

        Mr. Native Vedda,
        /
        Of course…….
        That’s why we chased away “yahapalana” gang.
        That’s why we elected GR as our president.
        That’s why we are going give MR/GR 2/3 in general election.
        don’t worry………..

  • 24
    1

    USA, Canada and other developed nations that have strong laws against money laundering should impose sanctions against Sri Lanka for aiding and abating money laundering by openly inviting black money.

  • 17
    1

    Minister Bandula

    Perhaps you should advise the Foreign Minister to get the SL Embassies in Mexico & Columbia (open new Missions with ex Military men as heads if SL has no presence in those countries) to promote safe banking for drug cartels in SL. Maybe the Rajapakses & their cronies could also benefit from the anonymity of ‘Swiss’ type banking in SL &, at least as a patriotic gesture, bring back the millions received from kickbacks & underhand dealings.

  • 4
    2

    The Rajapuk’s along with their closest associates and amba yaluwas know where exactly know where all the illegal stacks of foreign currency gold etc are hidden in.?
    =
    They are now trying to play innocent good clean buggers and trying to fool those who have had to work their bums hard for many an hour to earn these monies.
    =
    They are salivating in their mouths hoping and praying on their 2 1/4 feet that these innocents will fall prey for their outgrown charms and Kundu’s to foolishly part of their hard-earned assets which are either in cash or hard assets which could be easily converted into mouth-watering salli salli.
    =
    Hopefully, the now awoken from their deep sleep will realize that bringing back their black or legally acquired assets along with the salli salli will be the biggest mistake that one can make.
    =

    • 3
      2

      rj1952
      Rajapakshe virus that affect only Demalu is attacking the brain cells and disorient them.

      Have you forgotten that it was Mangala Samaraweera who told in 2015 that Mahinda Rajapakshe took US$ 18 billion out from Sri Lanka. Then Rajitha Senaratne told that he knows where that money is hidden. So what the hell these dumbos in ‘Yahapalana’ Government did for four and a half years without making arrangements to bring that money and charge Mahinda Rajapakshe if he has done something illegal. I understand that some guys went to Dubai looking for that money and had a grand time with Taxpayers’ money.
      In fact, Mahinda Rajapakshe challenged these dumbos to bring that money to Sri Lanka and said if they do so he will distribute that money among the people in the country.

      “The Rajapuk’s along with their closest associates and amba yaluwas know where exactly know where all the illegal stacks of foreign currency gold etc are hidden in.?”

      Are Mangala and Rajitha ‘Amba Yaluwas’ of Rajapuk’s?

      • 1
        2

        Eager less –
        Have you finally been able to escape from the bulky manly arms of the thangatchi of a meenachi, have you have managed to get back into the bosom sucking and drinking the unlimited quantities of pure de mala mother’s milk you cradle snatching pettiest racist prancing around the globe unleashed.?
        =
        Are you trying to infer that the Rajapuka family including their families and uncouth mates have a clean slate where honesty and killings are concerned?
        =
        Yes, My3 along with Ranil. W shat on their commitment of throwing the books at the horu boru Rajapuk’s.
        By their not honouring their promises it only clearly proved that the old adage – you scratch my back & I will scratch yours still exists.
        They connived together and did not honour their presidential election hustling promises.
        What a loss to the country and the world in not have these murdering thieving Rajapuk’s rest their weary limbs in the prison hospital as the medical staff employed in those institutions are also their inklings in making tons of hora salli.
        =
        You lot of kunu sakilli racists have sold your balls and souls to these infidels who at the moment the globe’s must criminally corrupt murdering of the innocents even on a petty romantic triangle and still roamings around the world as if they are babies like your bad self still clutching dependent on their blindly doting momma’s breasts which are now drooping and sagging below their waists similar to your meenachi of a Tamil who has brought shame to her family community and to the whole wide world.
        What devious voodoo charms did you have to use to finally entice her into your uncouth arms.?
        Cheers, R. J.

  • 7
    1

    This is the Rajapaksa regime, giving the okay to money laundering and black money….it looks like they may have lots themselves, and are trying to make it look “normal” for people to stash their money here in banks. Soon the banks here will see mountains of money coming in from Dubai, the Seychelles, and wherever the Rajapaksa’s have hidden their ill gotten gains.

    We should blame Sirisena and Ranil, for not investigating and doing something about it when they were in power.
    It is because of their incompetence, and sinister connections to the crime family, that we have this family to contend with. It seems their policies are to benefit THEM first.

    It seems the Rajapaksa supporters keep justifying all their crimes, racism, and nepotism, and are accepting everything as the “norm”.

  • 3
    1

    This is the Rajapaksa regime, giving the okay to money laundering and black money….it looks like they may have lots themselves, and are trying to make it look “normal” for people to stash their money here in banks. Soon the banks here will see mountains of money coming in from Dubai, the Seychelles, and wherever the Rajapaksa’s have hidden their ill gotten gains.

    We should blame Sirisena and Ranil, for not investigating and doing something about it when they were in power.
    It is because of their incompetence, and sinister connections to the crime family, that we have this family to contend with. It seems their policies are to benefit THEM first.

    Meanwhile the Rajapaksa supporters keep justifying all their crimes, racism, and nepotism, and are accepting everything as the “norm”.

    • 3
      1

      Duplicated. It would be convenient to have an Edit or Delete feature.

  • 9
    0

    Gosh, you mean Bandula is so desperate that even the Black Money is not coming in, and so he has to make a public appeal for its deliverance?

  • 5
    0

    Under US Laws any country or individual facilitating or trading in Black Money can be taken to task. Bandula Gunewardena the “Puss Pundit Economist” has exposed the country, President, PM, Minister etc to money laundering and trade embargo. This is the type of people we have in Pohottuwa – Gota – Mahinda Govt.

    This was done in order 1) to purchase Swarnavahini shares 2) bring Rajapakse family black money back to the country through surrogates.

    • 2
      1

      Buddhist1,
      It was Karunkanayakam who exposed the country by changing the Foreign Exchange Act without consulting the Central Bank and making a public statement that anyone can bring any amount of money and no questions will be asked to save his ass from the case he had for money laundering. Sri Lanka was blacklisted during ‘Yahapalana?’ regime.

  • 1
    0

    The above clip is making its rounds. Watch it, I bet it will make your day.

  • 4
    0

    This is to enable Rajapaksa clan and their cronies to white wash their black money,…and the repatriate back as white money to buy luxury houses and yachts and private planes for them

    • 2
      2

      Rajash,
      ‘Koti Diaspora’ also can take advantage and bring all the money they extorted from poor Demala economic refugees. After the terrorist campaign came to an end and LTTE listed as a terrorist organization in many Western countries, ‘Koti Diaspora’ is stuck with that money.

      • 1
        1

        Yes what a damn shame.
        The country is so broke under successive Sinhala government now they are inviting diaspora of all race, religion and colour to remit FX.
        By the way KP has handed over all the money to the Rajapakse regime now they wans to white wash it.

  • 2
    0

    Appeal by the government spokesman and an economist Bandula Goonewardene that ” expatriate Sri Lankans and local and foreign investors could deposit unlimited foreign currencies including “black money” in special deposit accounts at any private commercial bank in Sri Lanka.”. This plea demonstrates that the government is plunged in a serious financial crisis and in a desperate situation. The term ‘Black Money’ is also a serious issue, does the government endorsing those who are in possession of Black money? One thing is certain that the Sri Lankan expatriates will not dare to gamble their hard earned money with this kind of politicians. Not even the national patriotic citizens will not take a chance with any Sri Lankan government. This case is quite clear that no government whether it is blue or green cannot be trusted. People have already lost the trust they had but any more. Honorable Bandula Goonewardene must be half blind, he jolly well knows that most of his government & opposition politicos are in possession of black monies in huge numbers. What we expect from him is lead the way by let all those fellow politicians to bring in their black money then the rest will follow. What is your take on this Mr Bandula Goonewardene the economist.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.