9 August, 2020

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Ex-Minister’s money in Swiss bank account – A multinational company says

By Colombo Telegraph –

Maharoof - in the centre of a commission scandal

A multinational company Marine Cement of Zurich claimed they paid commission worth hundreds of thousands of US dollars to Swiss bank account of former Minister Mohamed Maharoof.

Robert Locher, Group Accountant of Marine Cement of Zurich, Switzerland was giving evidence in a money claim made by Maharoof to the value of Rs. 528 million. During cross examination in Colombo High Court Locher was questioned by the Attorney-at-Law for Marine Cement whether he had given commissions to Maharoof and what happened to the commissions.

The Group Accountant of a multinational company told the Colombo High Court (Commercial) this week that his company had paid commissions worth hundreds of thousands of US dollars to a Swiss bank account of Mohamed Maharoof, one-time Colombo District MP (UNP) and former Minister of Urban Public Utilities

Locher produced his company’s accounts which showed that commissions to Maharoof’ were paid into a bank account at Credit Suisse in Zurich. Under cross examination he was asked if Marine Cement had paid these commissions to which Locher said ‘yes’, and later went on to give details of payment.

Maharoof is claiming US $ 4,792,500 from Marine Cement in Switzerland saying that he was instrumental in negotiating with the Government of Sri Lanka in order for Marine Cement Ltd. to obtain more shares in the local company known as Lafarge Mahaweli Cement (Private) Ltd.

The case was taken up before Colombo High Court Judge Mahinda Samayawardena. Maharoof says after successful negotiations conducted by him and on behalf of Marine Cement Ltd., they were able to purchase more shares in the local company.

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