Intervention at the highest levels of Government has permitted Senior DIG Ravi Waidyalankara to continue as head of the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) despite serious allegations of corruption and sabotage of sensitive investigations being levelled against the high-ranking cop.
In May 2018 Waidyalankara was given a service extension of eight months by the UNP-led Government when he reached the retirement age of 60. The extension was granted despite opposition from the IGP, the National Police Commission and several other quarters.
Waidyalankara is currently under investigation by the Police Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption. The Bribery Commission is currently investigating SDIG Waidyalankara over his alleged assets.
One such “asset” under scrutiny is the Monarch Apartment the senior DIG allegedly purchased in his son Asela Waidyalankara’s name. It was previously reported that the Monarch Apartment No 16/A2 is registered in Asela Waidyalankara’s name. Other properties allegedly purchased by SDIG Waidyalankara – several using frontmen – have also come to light including a prime property in Colombo 05 that was purchased in 2017-2018. (Details to follow)
Colombo Telegraph can now reveal that SDIG Waidyalankara has deliberately sabotaged several high profile corruption probes involving top members of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime.
A lawyer by training SDIG Waidyalankara has been able to subvert or divert several investigations into key players in the Rajapaksa administration including Sajin Vaas Gunewardane, Gamini Senarath, Thiru Nadesan and Dilith Jayaweera that were originally under the purview of the FCID.
Additionally, SDIG Waidyalankara is alleged to be hand-in-glove with a notorious money launderer indicted in the US-Sri Lankan businessman Rienzie Edwards. A US court ordered Edwards assets frozen after he was indicted on money laundering charges in 2017 but Colombo Telegraph learns that the funds in several bank accounts in Sri Lankan banks were dispersed after the order was communicated to the FCID.
Law enforcement circles are also buzzing with information that SDIG Waidyalankara has made several attempts to smuggle crucial documents out of the FCID headquarters in Fort. At least one such attempt was shortly before the top cop boarded a flight to Singapore where several suspects in the highly sensitive MiG-27 deal investigation are known to be in residence. More recently Waidyalankara was also suspected of attempting to smuggle files pertaining to the Krrish deal investigation out of the FCID HQ.
Colombo Telegraph learns that SDIG Waidyalankara is being afforded protection from investigation from both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. In spite of sustained allegations of corruption and collusion with suspects in major cases his own unit is handling, Waidyalankara continues to keep his job as head of the premier police agency investigating complicated financial crimes. Concerns are rife that the crooked cop will be granted a further service extension in March 2019, allowing him to continue as FCID chief and jeopardise what is left of the unit’s major cases.
In the 3 February issue of the Sunday Times the newspaper’s political columnist wrote about corrupt police officials who had “benefitted and became filthily rich”.
“As a result of this, there is only one breed – some very corrupt Police officials – who benefitted and became filthily rich. Believe it or not, some are millionaires. Tragic enough, the two sides continue to woo them” the Sunday Times Political Editor noted. The line is strongly believed to be a thinly veiled reference to SDIG Waidyalankara under whose purview many of these most serious corruption investigations were placed when the Yahapalanaya Government came to power in 2015.
The Sunday Times political column is accurate in that Waidyalankara was the UNP choice to head the FCID, but has become an important asset to all political factions fighting to keep corruption investigations and litigation at bay. The SDIG’s valiant attempts to save senior officials of the former Rajapaksa regime has won him favour with President Sirisena who is in turn seeking to curry favour with Mahinda Rajapaksa in order to win his support to become the SLFP-SLPP candidate at the 2019 presidential election. Colombo Telegraph can also reveal that President Sirisena has been complicit in interference with high profile investigations. After taking over as SLFP Chairman in 2015 in order to keep his party ranks together Sirisena directly intervened to stop FCID corruption probes against senior members of the SLFP including Susil Premajayanth and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa. The UNP has also used SDIG Waidyalankara to stall corruption investigations against members of the former Rajapaksa regime they were courting for various political deals. High up on this list is Gamini Senarath, former Chief of Staff to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was finally indicted in the Permanent High Court after it was established last year. (By Ramani Bulathgamuwa)