20 September, 2018

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Chandra Jayaratne Invokes RTI, Asks Customs Dept To Reveal Forex-Related Procedures

Invoking the recently passed Right to Information Act, Chandra Jayaratne has written to the Customs Department demanding details of the enforcements regime/infrastructure and procedures relevant to the Foreign Exchange Act No 12 of 2017.

Chandra Jayaratne

In particular Jayaratne has asked the Customs Department to reveal ‘the procedures and processes introduced for incoming and outgoing persons (Sri Lankans- whether resident or non-resident, dual citizens or visitors or citizens of any other country) at the border points to declare a) foreign funds brought into Sri Lanka, foreign funds taken out of Sri Lanka, and measures to ensure all persons are aware of the applicable regulations at entry or departure points.

The full text of the request is as follows:

Information Officer Appointed Under Right to Information Act,

Sri Lanka Customs,

40, Main Street,

Colombo 11.

Dear Sir / Madam,

Exercising Citizens Rights under Section 3 (1) of the Right to Information Act, No. 12 of 2016

I wish to exercise my rights to access information from the Sri Lanka Customs Department, (being a duly created Public Authority and in my status as a citizen of Sri Lanka),  in terms of section 3 (1) of the Right to Information Act, No. 12 of 2016, which reads as “ Subject to the provisions of section 5 of this Act, every citizen shall have a right of access to information which is in the possession, custody or control of a public authority”.

I wish to obtain the under noted information from the Sri Lanka Customs Department, regarding the Enforcements Regime / Infrastructure and Procedures of the Sri Lanka Customs, post the effective coming in force of the Foreign Exchange Act No.12 of 2017 and the regulations made under such Act  and the repeal of the provisions of the Exchange Control Act (Chapter 423):

1. The procedures and processes introduced by the Sri Lanka Customs in terms of the Regulations made under the Foreign Exchange Act No.12 of 2017, for incoming and outgoing persons ( Sri Lankans- whether resident or non-resident, dual citizens or visitors or citizens of any other country) at the border points to

a) Declare on a formal basis, subject to post validation enabled documentation, records and / or endorsements, 

 i. of foreign brought in to Sri Lanka by any person (ie. where such foreign currency notes exceeds or equals to USD 15,000 or its equivalent in other foreign currency on a declaration to Customs Department where such foreign currency notes are less than 15,000 or its equivalent notes exceeding or equal to USD 15,000 or its equivalent in other foreign currency, on an appropriate declaration to the authorized dealer or restricted dealer)

ii. of foreign taken out of Sri Lanka by any person (ie. where such foreign currency notes exceeds or equals to USD 10,000 or its equivalent in other foreign currency)

iii. To  make aware all persons upon entry and departure at the border points, of the applicable regulations for declaration of foreign currency holdings, including by prominently displayed notification boards,

2. In the context of the Foreign Exchange Act decriminalizing offenses under the said Act and hereinafter not imposing any penal sentences for the offence of violation of the provisions of the said Act,

a) whether henceforth at the border points or during other search options or investigations instituted by Sri Lanka Customs, upon any discovery of persons in possession of

i. Foreign currency beyond limits permitted to be held in possession of such persons under the regulations promulgated under the Foreign Exchange Act No: 12 of 2017

ii. Foreign currency that have not been declared to the Customs at border points

iii. Foreign Currency ehildt in preparation for transit at ports and airports or in transit by planes or ships or such other vessels or carriers,

clarify under the present Foreign Exchange regime and regulations,  whether any Customs Officer can legally

*take possession of such foreign currency

*arrest such suspect

*confiscate such foreign currency

b) Henceforth upon any discovery at the border points or during other search options or during investigation currently ongoing or following completion of investigations findings, of persons, ( being any person against whom or any company or partnership against which legal proceedings or investigations are pending in respect of prosecution under the provisions of the repealed Exchange Control Act or Foreign Exchange Act No.12 of 2017),  in possession of documentary proof or such other evidence of having made outward remittances in respect of a permissible capital transaction without obtaining clearance for the remittance from the Central Bank ( all as detailed in the Regulations promulgated under the Foreign Exchange Act 12 of 2017) what action or procedures will Customs Officers follow?

I await you’re your response in line with the provisions of the Right to Information Act, No. 12 of 2016

Yours Sincerely,

Chandra Jayaratne

cc.  Secretary to the Treasury

       Governor of the Central Bank

       Assistant Governors in Charge of the Foreign Exchange Department & Financial Intelligence Units of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka

      Director General of Customs,

      Deputy Minister, National Policies and Economic Affairs. 

      Right to Information Commission

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Latest comments

  • 7
    1

    I challenged the Foreign Exchange Bill before the Supreme Court in April 2017. In my view, this piece of legislation was brought in with dishonest motives. It provides no penal sanctions for any exchange control violations and decriminalized all exchange control related violations. The Bill also provided a provision (Section 29) to deal with cases initiated under old the Exchange Control Act to be dealt with under the new law. The objective was obvious. That was to protect RAvi K from being indicted under a fresh indictment. The Court conceded that the said provision is inconsistent with the constitution and ruled that all old cases shall be dealt with under the old Exchange Control Act. But AG took a different stand on other provisions that made Sri Lanka effectively a money laundering heaven. He argued that we live in a modern age, a free market economy where there shall not be any restrictions.Despite submissions made against blanket removal of all restrictions imposed under the old law against brining and taking out foreign currency the AG defended it and finally it was made the law governing foreign exchange. What is the ultimate result now. All restrictions imposed by law against import and export of foreign currency (by Section 21 and 22 of the Exchange Control Act) completely removed. Now there is no restrictions in place at all against taking money in or out. This is the Yahapalana foreign exchange policy. Just to prove the poor policy decision, I initiated a case in the last week before the Court of Appeal against the forfeiture of US $100,000/- cash brought in by a passenger, after new law was enacted . Under the new law, in the absence of any restriction or prohibition, the Customs has no jurisdiction to confiscated any money undeclared by a passenger. This matter is due to be supported next week I will provide more details to Chandra about where we stand under the new law, once Court made its decision next week.

    • 0
      1

      “Vara Vara Maamiyar Kazhuthai Pola” (More and more, Mother in Law is turning out to be a donkey!) Come on hypocrisy guys……….. be honest if you are contesting others frauds. We are not UNP lawyers, yet fully against the London, Australia, Lankawe …..Communists’ crookedness.

      Is Lankawe has removed the difference between the hard currency Bills and the legitimate bank depots, under new Exchange Control Bill?

      I think court has to charge a court fee and dismiss the case for Nagananda trying to saving a Sinhala Money Laundering person.

      One cannot enter into US with that kind of money; after all it is US money. One of the eminent AG, that time a sitting Governor, a powerful potential Candidate for President, Eliot Spitzer lost everything because he went to a call girl out of state with $5000 bills. It was his money. Like Clinton Family, his family did not fully retaliate for his promiscuity. But, he was punished under money laundering.
      In reality Nagananda is not against deregulating exchange transfers. He is just against UNP did it without getting his communist lord permission. Otherwise how can he get involved, support and appear to a client who smuggled that kind of money? Now when the other Chauvinist filed against Tamils governors, this guy is coming out crying that he is not under the haystack. If Nagananda would come out panicking, fearing that RTI Commission is going to release his Money laundering case information, I would have supported Chandra Chauvinist’s application to RTI commission.

      That guy is targeting the two years of the two Tamil CBG time to investigate a 6 month old bill, out of the 60 years of CBGs. This is how the True Sons of Bitch are saving the Mother’s Fame in the international arena.

      • 0
        0

        Any one can bring any amount of money to USA as long as they declared it to the US customs. Customs will ask the source of funds. If you bring less than $10,000. you even do not have to declare it. Naganandab and Chandra J. Is exercising a basic right of a citizen of Sri Lanka, I wander why some people are afraid of them and trying to cover up the wrong doers or fraudsters. We need more concern citizens like Chandra J and Naganada to bring these fraudsters to people’s notice and question the govt. officers who supports them. Also I am not sure why this guy is pulling the racism card in this issue, looks like some one is trying to hide something, or to protect a thief.

        • 0
          0

          Nandaguptha
          Don’t jump back on me. Please don’t go after the ones I am hiding. Please I will not expose the file I have on you and don’t expose the one you have on me. Man, honestly I am not asking you for the source of the $10000 or the need to bring that kind of Cash and the innocent forgetfulness of not declaring that to customs. (Stupid idiot is not understanding what the point I raised, but coming out with usual Mother Bitch’s defense that he has a file on me too.)
          For God sake, please read Nagananda belief:
          Accusation: Customs stopped because 1).bring that kind of money, 2). Not declaring it.
          Defense: There is no Exchange control.
          Exchange control laws are enacted mainly to maintain economic activity and the cash flow of the country. Hard Currency laws are related to hidden and underground monetary crimes. A lawyer is matching the oranges to apples. He is attempting to force the government to give up, if there any other holds left on the exchange control. His explanation for that misdeed is, he as a true son of the Mother, is fighting against the removal of the “exchange controls”.
          I don’t know, but I don’t deny you and other readers having more enlightened insider info and more interest in the case. Apparently this was not publicized case, but brining it here can lead to break Lawyer- Client trust, too. Nagananda rushed, possibly fearing RTIC may expose the case by Chandra’s action and he possibly as an Ad seeking similar clients in case of successful defense.
          Racist Nagananda labelled Racist Jayampathy as a divider of the country. To Nagananda’s call “True Sons to Come to Defend Mother”, all these times only a Daughter showed up. Now a son too?

        • 0
          0

          Nandaguptha,

          “Any one can bring any amount of money to USA as long as they declared it to the US customs.”

          There is also often a limit on how much can be taken out without declaration. 10,000 USD in the USA and 10,000 Euro in the European Union. I have been politely asked to tell how much money I have with me when leaving USA and EU. They asked but did not check.

          Our politicians should only be allowed to bring money into the country after declaring it at customs or using official banking channels.

          As to suitcases full of cash leaving the country: the days when banks in respectable countries accepted large amounts of cash without questions are over. If your passport identifies you as a Politically Exposed Person you will face even more problems in foreign banks.

  • 3
    1

    The information sought by Chandra Dayaratne is too much and the Customs authorities can delay the release sighting this excuse.
    Perhaps Chandra may seek one or two specific information and build his case.

    • 0
      0

      K.Pillai,

      “I wish to obtain the under noted information from the Sri Lanka Customs Department, regarding the Enforcements Regime / Infrastructure and Procedures of the Sri Lanka Customs, post the effective coming in force of the Foreign Exchange Act No.12 of 2017 and the regulations made under such Act and the repeal of the provisions of the Exchange Control Act (Chapter 423):”

      Try harder to comprehend what Chandra has requested.

      “The information sought by Chandra Dayaratne is too much and the Customs authorities can delay the release sighting this excuse.”

      Does the RTI Act allow such excuses? Did you ever read the Act?

  • 0
    0

    this country is being manipulated by the politicians of UNP and SLFP since taking control after independence to ensure their families are well looked after financially and otherwise and high time the people rise against both these parties to put an end to their rule

  • 0
    0

    In addition to Foreign control exchange act, I heard there is a Money Laundering Act. does it become defunct ?. As I heard, many big or humongous deposits by politicians are not bought or invested by taking money outside. that is with commissions like things received outside the country. they have deposited those in many island banks around the world. Some of these island may be directly related to western countries, e.g virgin Islands. Others are simply Tax havens such as Monaco, Macaw and Nicobar too. These investments include expensive real estate bought from these monies.

  • 2
    0

    I hope this is not yet another show stunt by Mr. Chandra Jayaratne like the way he Challenged the Central Bank Bond Scam.

    I wonder a hobby like kite flying is more worth while an effort than stirring dust for the sake of seeking cheap publicity.

  • 0
    0

    We have to wait ad see whether Mr, Chandra Jayarathne is GENUINE here or playing some game to fulfill some agenda.

  • 0
    0

    Why write to customs.when the new act spell out the new procedures. Customs cannot function outside the act. This is like ”Paragiya Kotte giya.” May be to seek cheap publicity.

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