3 December, 2020

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“Money Has Never Made A Man Happy, Nor Will It”: An Insight To Money Laundering Laws In Sri Lanka

By Ashan Nanayakkara

Ashan Nanayakkara

Mario Puzo, The Godfather, once voiced that, “Behind every successful fortune there is a crime.” Be that is it may, yet, in present day context, one cannot freely spend their fortune (wealth) which may have accrued by illegal means, without evading the acute income-tax laws and the gawk eyes of law imposing authorities.

Luck of having oil discovered on a useless piece of a land, bag of pearls gifted by an old woman who is in the age of her 90s, blue-sapphire found from the backyard of someone’s house whilst he was peeing, lucky heir who was bequeathed amaze of wealth after the demise of persons in the kinds of John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis, Ernest Hemingway are rarest things once in blue moon could occur. There is no wrong in fortune favours a man by such a stroke of luck. In opposition, if such a new found wealth is accumulated through felonious means noticed to none, such acts are to be hunt down by the Government. Thus, Money Laundering Laws have found to cater remedies to such mischiefs. 

It is true that, having wealth, one could buy over the might, and further become mightier. But, question is how long? It was quoted that, “Superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer” – Act 1 Scene 2 of Merchant of Venice. The money enlarged on forbidden activities is impermanent and lasts for short. Those who possessed it shall loose their virtues, as well as their Sleep!

Writer was driven to narrate this piece of article, to disclose how efficiently the laws of money laundering being adopted in Sri Lanka since which was come in to effect. It was the Prevention of Money Laundering Act no. 05 of 2006 and the Amendment No. 40 of 2011 provide the provisions for that specific area of law.

The money Laundering simplified in to laymen’s word, to wit, process of turning the black money in to white which were earned from illegal sources. In nowadays, incidents such as allegations leveled against Ex-CEO of SriLankan Airlines PLC – Kapila Chandrasena and his wife over an alleged bribe sum of USD 2 million solicited and received from a French Airbus Company in connection with 14 Airbuses purchased in 2013, accusations made against Ex-Central Bank Governor – Arjuna Mahendran, the head of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd., Arjun Aloysius and his accomplice Kasun Palisena over infamous Bond Scam were some examples where the need of this piece of legislature required the most.

There is a difference between, offence of Money Laundering vis-à-vis other offences defined under the Penal Code of Sri Lanka.

To provide the reader a glimpse of an idea how the legislature envisaged this offence, that is to say,

“3. (1) Any person, who —

(a) engages directly or indirectly in any transaction in relation to any property which is derived or realised, directly or indirectly, from any unlawful activity or from the proceeds of any unlawful activity;

(b) receives, possesses, conceals, disposes of, or brings into Sri Lanka, transfers out of Sri Lanka, or invests in Sri Lanka, any property which is derived or realised, directly or indirectly, from any unlawful activity or from the proceeds of any unlawful activity, knowing or having reason to believe that such property is derived or realised, directly or indirectly from any unlawful activity or from the proceeds of any unlawful activity, shall be guilty of the offence of money laundering and shall on conviction after trial before the High Court be liable to a fine not less than the value of the property in respect of which the offence is committed and not more than three times the value of the property in respect of which the offence is committed or to rigorous imprisonment for a period of not less than five years and not exceeding twenty years, or to both such fine and imprisonment. The assets of any person found guilty of the offence of money laundering under this section shall be liable to forfeiture in terms of Part II, of this Act. Be it an individual, a company or the Government, it is misappropriation of someone else’s money. Section 403 of the penal code…”

The key-word of this section is “unlawful activity”. The unlawful activity has been interpreted, by the same Act, as follows:

“unlawful activity” means any act which constitutes and offence under —

(a) the Poisons, Opium and Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Chapter 218);

(b) any law or regulation for the time being in force relating to the prevention and suppression of terrorism;

(c) the Bribery Act (Chapter 26);

(d) the Firearms Ordinance (Chapter 182), the Explosives Ordinance (Chapter 183) or the Offensive Weapons Act, No. 18 of 1966.

(e) the Exchange Control Act (Chapter 423);

(f) an offence under section 83C of the Banking Act, No. 30 of 1988;

(g) any law for the time being in force relating to transnational organised crime;

(h) any law for the time being in force relating(i) any law for the time being in force relating to offences against children;

(j) any law for the time being in force relating to offences connected with the trafficking of persons; and

(k) an offence under any other law for the time being in force which is punishable by death or with imprisonment for a term of seven years or more.”

In contrast, Penal Code and other offences referred to above have their own existence and offences referred to definition under ‘unlawful act’ is meant in the context of Money Laundering Act inasmuch as they being fallen under section 4 of the Money Laundering Act. Thus, Money Laundering Act no. 05 of 2006 (as amended) has its application in wide area of law such as above said set of specific Acts and Penal Code of Sri Lanka.

By looking at the above list of unlawful activities stipulated in the Act per se, it is abundantly clear that, the legislature has specific intentions to bring this sort of law. As at the year of 2006, Sri Lanka was at height of war and lot of concerns were engrossed to block the finance to Terrorism. LTTE was booming as most ruthless and most sophisticated terrorist organization in the Globe which has had influx of proceeds from width and breadth of the world in large quantities. 

It was found that by using this money, the LTTE brought weapons, armories and ammunition in mass scale. Further, there were number of local and foreign supporters of LTTE who turn this war into a mean of income and provided safe passage to Terrorists in various ways. Some, being personifying themselves to be as average citizens, were doing arms dealing, human smuggling, trafficking of persons, offences against Children, and specially, brining Kerala Ganja (Opium – canbis staiva) and other drugs through Palk Straight (it was also alleged that such drugs were interacted to war free areas by the blessings of some Army personnel). On the whole, the LTTE or their flag bearers (Tamil and Non-Tamil) kept producing big money at the pretext of war. Frustrated Sri Lankan Government brought Money Laundering Act mainly targeting the said parties who were in the process of making profits out of this war: and, to prevent aiding and abetting to Terrorism. 

By bringing the amendment to Money Laundering Act, Hon. Minister Bandula Gunawardane had this to say,

..ත්‍ර​ස්තවාදයට අනුබල දීම සඳහා මුදල යෙදවීම, ඒ සඳහා ආධාර කිරීම සහ ඒ සඳහා උපකාර කිරිමට ලංකාව තුළදී හෝ පිටතදී ක්‍රියා කරන තැනැත්තන්ට නීතිමය වශයෙන් කටයුතු කිරීමට අවශ්‍ය විධිවිධාන සංශෝධනය කරලා තිබෙනවා. ඒ අනුව මුදල් විශුද්ධිකරණය වැළැක්වීමේ (සංශෝධන​) පනත කෙටුම්පත මඟින් ශ්‍රී ලංකාව තුළ මුදල් විශුද්ධිකරණ වරදක් සිදු කිරීම සමිබන්ධයෙන් ඕනෑම පුද්ගලයෙකු ඇතළත් වන පරිදි නීතී වෙනස් කරලා තිබෙනවා. රවී කරුණානායක මන්ත්‍රීතුමා කිවිවා වාගේ නමක්, ගමක් නැහැ. ඕනෑම පුද්ගලෙයෙක් මෙයට ඇතුළත් කරලා තිබෙනවා. මුදල් විශුද්ධිකරණ ක්‍රියාවලිය තුළින් ඉපයූ දේපළ බැහැර කර ඇති අවස්ථාවකදී ඊට සමාන වෙනත් දේපළක් කරා වටිනාකම් අය කර ගැනීමට අවස්ථාව සැලෙසනවා. රට තුළ සල්ලි නැත්නම් තමන්ගෙ රට තුළ​ තිබෙන වෙනත් දේපළකට මාරු කරලා අය කර ගන්නට මෙමඟින් අවස්ථාවක් සැලෙසනවා. වසර පහක හෝ ඊට වඩා වැඩි කාලයක බන්ධනාගාර ගත කළ හැකි වරදකට ඇතළත් කිරීමෙන් “අනීතික​ ක්‍රියා” යන්නෙහි ආවරණය පුළුල් කරලා තිබෙනවා. මෙම මුදල් විශුද්ධිකරණය වැළැකවීමේ (සංශෝධන) පනත කෙටුම්පත මඟින් අනීතික ක්‍රියා යන්නට විදේශ තුළ කෙරන පූර්ව නිශ්චිත වැරදිද ඇතුළත් කරලා තිබෙනවා. ත්‍ර​ස්තවාදයට අරමුදල් සැපයීම මැඩලීමේ සම්මුතිය අනුව ශ්‍රී ලංකා පුරවැසියන් හා ශ්‍රී ලංකාව තුළද ශ්‍රී ලාංකික පුරවැසියන් නොවන පුද්ගලයන් ඇතුළත් වන පරිදි ත්‍ර​ස්තවාදයට අරමුදල් සැපයීම මැඩලීමට අදාළ නීති පුළුල් කරලා තිබෙනවා.

ලංකාවේ පුරවැසියන් නොවන කෙනක්, වෙනත් රටක පදංචිව සිටින, ඒ රටේ නේවාසික තැනැත්තෙකු ලෝකයේ කොහේ හරි රටක ලංකාවේ පමණක් නොවෙයි ත්‍ර​ස්තවාදී කටයුතු සඳහා ආධාර දුන්නොත් එය මේ පනත යටෙත් වරදක් විදියට​ ඇතළත් කර තිබෙනවා. “අරමදල්” යන්න නිර්වචනයේදී ලංකාව තළ හෝ පිටත තබා ගනු ලබන ස්ථාවර, චංචල වත්කම් මෙන්ම භෞතික හෝ අභෞතික, ස්පර්ශ කළ හැකි හෝ ස්පර්ශ කළ නොහැකි වත්කම් සියල්ල ඇතළත් කර තිබෙනවා. ත්‍ර​ස්තවාදයට අරමුදල් සැපයීමේ වරද යන්නට එක් ත්‍ර​ස්තවාදියෙකු සඳහා මුදල් සැපයීම හෝ ඕනෑම ත්‍ර​ස්තවාදී ක්‍රියාවකට අරමුදල් සැපයීම ඇතුළත් කර තිබෙනවා. ත්‍ර​ස්තවාදයට අරමුදල් සැපයීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් හෝ ත්‍රස්තවාදය සම්බන්ධ අරමුදල් සහ දේපොළ අධිචෝදනා ගොනු කිරීමට ප්‍රථම​ අත් හිටුවීමේ බලය පොලීසිය වෙත ලබා දී තිබෙනවා. ඒ නිසා මේ පනත කෙටුම්පත මඟින් ජාතික ආරක්ෂාව, ජාතික ආර්ථිකයේ ආරක්ෂාව, මහජනතාවගේ ආරක්ෂාව තහවුරු කරන නිසා දේශපාලන පක්ෂ, පාට භේදෙයෙන් තොරව රට හා ජනතාවගේ යහපත වෙනුවන් මෙකී පනත් කෙටුම්පත සමිමත කර දෙන ලෙස ඉල්ලා සිටිමින් මගෙ වචන ස්වල්පය මෙයින් සමාප්ත කරනවා…

(Regulations have laid down by the amendment to take actions against those who financing by aiding and abetting for Terrorism, inside and outside of Sri Lanka, so, whoever commits an offence by doing money laundering in Si Lanka shall be dealt with this draft Money Laundering (amendment) Act. As per Hon, Ravi Karunanayake mentioned, notwithstanding the person or his upbringing, everyone is governed by this law. If there are proceeds which have been earned by money laundering activities, there are provisions to compensate the said amounts from other means. If there is no money in the country, the said amount can be recovered from an asset owned to such people which is located in their country. By adding an imprisonment of 5-years or more in to the definition of “unlawful activity”, the range of application of this law has been widened. To this draft Money Laundering (amendment) Act, the offences laid down by other jurisdictions are also being covered. Following the Convention on Prevention of Finance to Terrorism, our law has been expanded over Sri Lankans, and Non-Sri Lankans for the purpose of preventing financing for terrorism.

A person who is not a citizen of this country, any other person who is not a citizen of Sri Lanka but resides in some other country, who supports to Terrorist activities, found to be as an offence under this Act. “Funds” means and includes fixed and variable assets hold in Sri Lanka and outside, physical and not-physical as well as tangible and non-tangible assets. The offence of facilitating finance to Terrorism has been re-defined as facilitating to one Terrorist or facilitating for any sort of Terrorist activity. Facilitating finance to terrorism or wealth accrued from terrorist activities could be freezed by the Police even before any indictment is served. This Act shall aid for national security, national economy, as well as safeguarding the public at large. Hence, at last, I solicit your vote, leaving aside party politics, for this Draft Act to be passed in this House which will be benefit to the public)      

Page no 712 of Volume 202 – No. 6 – Wednesday, 21st September, 2011 of Hansards of Sri Lanka Parliament.

Albeit, at the inception, other than the Terrorism and selected group of crimes the law stretched to prevention of some other illegal ways of accumulation of wealth too encompassed to this legal framework, inter alia, committing offences under, Bribery Act, Excise Act, Banking Act, Exchange Control Act etc.

Despite the fact that wide spectrum of offences included in to as money laundering activities, the application of other different areas of law was sparingly used till 2011. In 2011, another new amendment came and further broadened the construction of “unlawful activity” upon which Money Laundering Act could kick in.

According to which, following new offences were introduced as unlawful activities to be punished under Money Laundering Act:

“…(4) in the definition of the  expression “unlawful activity” —

(a) by the repeal of paragraph (e) thereof and the substitution  therefor of the following:—“(e) the Exchange Control Act (Chapter423) and any Rule, Order or Regulation made  thereunder;”;

(b) by the repeal of paragraphs (j) and (k) thereof and the substitution therefor of the following paragraphs:— “(j) any written law for the time being in force relating to offences connected with  the  trafficking or smuggling of persons;

(k) the Customs Ordinance (Chapter 235)and any Regulation, Rule or Order made thereunder;

(l) the Excise Ordinance (Chapter 52) and any Regulation, Rule or Order made thereunder;

(m) the Payment Devices Frauds Act, No.30 of 2006 and any Regulation, Rule or Order made thereunder;

(n) the National Environmental Act, No.47 of 1980 and any Regulation, Rule or Order made thereunder;

(o) an offence under any other written law for the time being in force which is punishable by death or with imprisonment for a term five years or more: 

Provided however that, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the preceding provision, any offence under sections 386, 388, 399 and 401 of the Penal Code (Chapter19) shall be deemed to be an unlawful activity for the purposes of this Act; and

(p) an act committed within any jurisdiction outside Sri  Lanka, which would either constitute an offence in that jurisdiction or which would if committed in Sri Lanka amount to an unlawful  activity  within  the  meaning of this Act…”

Now, the Money Laundering Act has its implications on wide spectrum of offences. It ranges from money collected from Terrorist Activities to acts made under National Environmental Act.

Modus operandi of prosecuting against such an offender is, whenever the Police have reasonable grounds that a person has accrued wealth which cannot be justified by his or her known income, as per section 7 of the Act, a Police Officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police could issue a “freezing order” by his own prohibiting any transactions in relation to such person’s bank accounts, property and investments. Such order only lasts for 7-days. The said prosecuting officers could make further application before the High Court and confirm the aforesaid freezing order in terms of section 8 of the Act for additional period. However, such confirmation could also extend up to 1-year. Amidst of such a freezing order operates, the Police via Hon. Attorney General, should prosecute against the said offenders if there are satisfactory grounds for framing a charge sheet. 

Money-Laundering Charges Against Ex-CEO of Sri Lankan Airlines and his wife

The most recent suspects which are governed under this specific law is Ex-CEO of Sri Lanka’s National Carrier SriLankan Airlines and his wife. 

It was come to light that three bank accounts maintained at the Standard Chartered Bank by a company by the name of Biz Solutions by Priyanka Neomali Wijenayake the wife of SriLankan Airlines CEO Kapila Chandrasena, who was the sole director, had received a sum of USD 2 Million paid as a bribe by European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. 

The said Airbus Company resides at 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte Blagnac, 31707 France, founded in 08-03-2001 provides aerospace products. The Company designs, produces, and delivers commercial aircrafts, helicopters, defense, security, and space products. This is a subsidiary of Airbus SE which is the biggest European multinational aerospace corporation. 

Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has found that the money was accepted by Priyanka Neomali Wijenayake who possessed an account under the entity – Biz Solutions bearing No 0107130602 maintained at the Standard Chartered Bank of Singapore and afterwards remitted the same into an account of her husband Kapila Chandrasena bearing no 06323610119179 maintained at the Commonwealth Bank in Australia. Thus, the acceptance of money, by whomever sent, for whatever the purpose, are undisputable. Nevertheless, it is reported that both Ex-CEO and his wife had given statements that they were unaware how such money came in to their bank accounts. If that defense presumed to be correct, that defense is worst than the offence! 

Having accepted the above said colossal money and having debited the same to Ex-CEO’s Australian Bank account, only question to answer, now is the aforesaid sum of 2 USD were transferred to the Wife of Ex-CEO’s bank account on what justa causa. Assuming that this huge amount of money given to those duo by Heaven, for doing nothing, it is not wrong to bring them under Money Laundering Laws according to which requires the suspects to be given justifiable reasons for their mean of proceeds from their known income. As long as they fail to do so, chances are high that they will sooner or later have to be in behind bars. 

Now it is reported that this bulk money was received by the said parties as a part of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement reached between Airbus and some other companies that the latter had agreed to pay out a sum of 16.84 Million US dollars (Rs. 2.5 bn [2015]) to influence the aircraft purchase, to a company registered in Brunei under the name of the wife of Ex-CEO of Sri Lankan Airlines. This gigantic transnational fraud was found after an investigation conducted by the French financial prosecutor’s office and British Serious Fraud Office started in 2016, and the US Department of Justice in 2018. According to the said investigations, it was revealed that the end figures of soliciting bribes to different companies across the world strikes alarmingly about 3-Billion Euros. As a result, the Airbus have pledged to compensate to those who were aggrieved by their misdeeds. Thus far, It is predicted Airbus could have faced even greater penalties and legal fees if the case had gone to trial. Besides to the announcement by Airbus of their intentions to pay compensations, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) based on London confirms that, a public hearing is held from Friday, 31 January before the President of the Queen’s Bench Division.

Sri Lanka has already instituted criminal actions against the aforesaid perpetrators under Money Laundering Act. Writer is sure about that must be under the limbs of “…(g) any law for the time being in force relating to transnational organised crime; and (p) an act committed within any jurisdiction outside Sri Lanka, which would either constitute an offence in that jurisdiction or which  would if committed in Sri Lanka amount to an unlawful activity within the meaning of this Act…” which come under the definition of “unlawful activity” of Money Laundering Act. In addition since, such accumulation of money derived from bribes, the suspects could be dealt under Bribery Act as well. As per words of the doyen of Contract Law of Sri Lanka, C. G. Weeramantry in his “The Law of Contracts Vol 1 – 2012”, at page no. 339, that, “…Statute may expressly prohibit certain contracts; or declare certain contracts null and void; or prohibit the making of a contract in any manner other than the specified in the statute on pain of invalidity, or ay impose penalties or disabilities on specific acts or omissions in violation of the statute. Some of these provisions amount to statutory prohibitions, and of these prohibitions it will be seen that some are express some are implied…” and the words of Atkin, L. J., in re Mahamoud and Isphani (1921) 2 K. B.  731, that, “…contract or class of contract is prohibited by statute, it may find express prohibitions in the statute or it may have to infer the prohibition from the fact that the statute imposes a penalty upon the persons entering into that class of contract…” Sri Lankan Government could unilaterally cancel, if there is any such verbal or written Agreement between Airbus Co. and Sri Lankan Government is in effect, forthwith, as the said contracts are deem to be illegal contracts under the Common Law.

In this backdrop, it seem that Sri Lanka has enough laws to bring the aforesaid Ex-CEO of National Carrier – Kapila Chandrasena and his wife to courts and make sure to justice being dispensed irrespective of their political affiliations. 

Further, since the Airbus had agreed to pay back the said bribes as compensation to those who lost the aforesaid money, Sri Lanka must take all legal measures to bring back the said large scale of finance to Sri Lanka. Evening Express, reports that, “More than 3 billion euros is not a very easy fine to pay, Mr. Bohnert told reporters, saying it was wiping out the equivalent of a year of Airbus profits – in a good year.” Hence, other than bringing the perpetrators to courts, Sri Lankan Government must officially demand for the loss of their turnover which was pillaged by a third party at the cost of this entire exercise. By looking at the nature of abusing the public finance of one of the most respected Public Companies in the Country, no wonder that State-run Sri Lankan Airlines total loss has increased to 12,961 million rupees in the first four months of 2019. It was no surprise that the total debt of Sri Lankan exceeded US 750 million dollars, according to mid –year Fiscal Position Report -2019 of the Finance Ministry.  

Freezing Orders were given under Money-Laundering Act against 28-Bank Accounts run under the name of Perpetual Treasuries 

“When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life. Now that I am old, I know that it is.” The aforesaid words of Oscar Wilde may have been the motto of Arjun Aloysius, Arjuna Mahendran and the clan.

Beforehand the charges leveled against the Ex-CEO of Sri Lankan Airlines and his wife, it was Central Bank Bond Scam was the talk of the day during ‘Yahapanaya’ era. It was found that Perpetual Treasuries owned by Arjun Aloysius who is the son-in-law of former Central Bank Governor, now absconding accused of High Court Trial-at-Bar case, Arjuna Mahendran, along with the latter himself had committed insider dealings and earned mammoth profits out of transactions took placed at primary and secondary market in the financial market. 

Again, the Money Laundering Act was used to prevent 28-bank accounts of the subsidiaries came under Perpetual Treasuries, to stop, being further misused of the money accrued from aforesaid illegal means. Among the companies in the group were Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd, Perpetual Asset Management (Pvt) Ltd, Perpetual Capital Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, W M Mendis & Co Ltd and Integrated Media Networks (Pvt) Ltd. 

Eventually, it was measured that nearly 11-Billion Rupees had been plundered as a result of the aforesaid insider dealings, and thereby 23 indictments filed on or about 19-07-2019 at permanent high court trial at bar against the 10 accused, namely, former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, former Central Bank Deputy Governor P. Samarasiri, Perpetual Treasuries Limited, PTL beneficial owner Arjun Aloysius, PTL CEO Kasun Palisena. Jeffery Joseph Aloysius, Pushya Gunawardena, Ranjan Hulugalla, Muthuraja Surendran and Ajahn Punchihewa. 

In any case, it must be appreciated that Sri Lanka has for the first time in history has brought such group of fraudsters to law.

Ravi Karunanayake got escaped from Money Laundering Charges

Unlike nowadays Attorney General – Dappula De Livera, during times of Yuvanjana Wijeyathilake, it was alleged that those who have accused of having Money Laundering charges had a carnival. In contrast,  Livera  has been very focused on his job to prosecute against Ex-CEO of SriLankan Airlines and his wife (notwithstanding the writer having his own reservations towards him in certain aspects).

Though it is now the history, it must reveal, nothing but the truth, that, in the High Court Case No. 4648/2009 (decided on 18th May 2015) Mr. Ravi Karunanayake who was holding the public office of the Minister of Finance was indicted before the High Court of Colombo, for committing of serious money laundering offence involving 3-Million US dollars, which he had received from one Raj Rajarathnam, who is now serving a 11-year prison sentence in the USA. The aforesaid case was dismissed due to flout of framing of charges in the High Court indictment, brining shame to entire Attorney General’s Department. During this time it was Yuvanjana Wijeyathilake was the head of that Department. Despite having all the rights to file a fresh flawless Charge Sheet against MP Ravi Karunanayake as the Public Prosecutor, the good Minister is yet to receive that Charge Sheet! This reminds the writer, Charles Dickens, who once said in his “The Old Curiosity Shop” that “…if there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers.” Herding cats is easier than punishing against a Parliamentarian in Sri Lanka.

The Man who changed his Spouse to become the PM, as per Ranjangate, was too drilled under Money Laundering Act

It is the Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage was suspected under committing offence under Money Laundering laws, once Aluthgamage’s shocking mountain of wealth came into light when his wife sought Rs. 500 million settlement during their divorce. Having started his job as an insurance agent, Aluthgamage is today the owner of several plots of lands in Colombo and Kandy as well as other luxury properties. He is reported to have purchased a 20-perch land in Borella, another property in the highly residential area of Koswatta, Nawala and also said to be owned at least two plots of land in Kandy. He also owns luxury apartment at Trillium Residencies and another property at Kynsey Road, Colombo 7 in terms of the aforesaid Divorce case.

Notwithstanding the amassed wealth accrued by this Minister, and despite a case filed before the Chief Magistrate’s Court of Colombo by the Criminal Investigation Department soon after ‘Yahapalanaya’ Government came into power, none of his wealth was freezed nor bard from utilizing to date. He is merrily enjoy those wealth without any encumbrances. The litigation commenced against the aforesaid Minister is merely frothy foam on top of beer which is produced by bubbles of gas! One may not surprise, same as Ravi Karunannayake’s saga, even if the Aluthgamage saga too shall turn out to be beating his head against the wall. 

Let the writer to conclude quoting George Lorimer, an American Journalist who was the editor of Saturday Evening Post, as follows: “It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.”

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Latest comments

  • 14
    3

    Nothing will happen, all are crooks.
    After the election Gots and the thieves will start merry making, if there is no Coronavirus plague in the country, after letting the Chinese into the country without any official recommended quarantine.
    China ccp will be in pieces in the coming months as China will be the sick man of Asia again.

    • 9
      4

      Ashan Nanayakkara,

      “Mario Puzo, The Godfather, once voiced that, “Behind every successful fortune there is a crime.”

      Bond Scam, Air Bus/Air Lanka Scam, MIG Scam, Hambantota Harbor Scam, Mattala Scam, Sahanguri La Scam, etc. nothing will happen, as the scammers will prostrate to the monks, and everything will be forgiven or forgotten, in the land of the imbeciles, mean measured IQ 79.

      Thanks for your article. When the criminals and the law makers and law enforcers are about the same, there is no crime, only misunderstandings and confusions.

      Is the new name for Mario Puzo , Mahinda Rajapaksa, locally in the land of Native Veddah Aethho? The Tribe?

      Then, There is the the hijacking of Buddhism by the monks, installing themselves as the 3rd Gem of the Triple Gem, getting the imbeciles to prostrate to them, on the illusion of Nibbana, extinction , which no imbecile has achieve so far. They all got oxidized, biologically or by oxygen.

    • 11
      1

      A well written article dear Ashan!. A very impressive one!!. What an unfortunate nation we are to be born in this country to see the fraudulent conduct of all these shady rulers who have aided and abetted these swindlers in the caliber of M.A.who conducts himself like an gentleman with an impeccable character in European suit at all times, without an iota of shame!!!

  • 17
    0

    “Though it is now the history, it must reveal, nothing but the truth, that, in the High Court Case No. 4648/2009 (decided on 18th May 2015) Mr. Ravi Karunanayake who was holding the public office of the Minister of Finance was indicted before the High Court of Colombo, for committing of serious money laundering offence involving 3-Million US dollars, which he had received from one Raj Rajarathnam, who is now serving a 11-year prison sentence in the USA. The aforesaid case was dismissed due to flout of framing of charges in the High Court indictment, brining shame to entire Attorney General’s Department. During this time it was Yuvanjana Wijeyathilake was the head of that Department. Despite having all the rights to file a fresh flawless Charge Sheet against MP Ravi Karunanayake as the Public Prosecutor, the good Minister is yet to receive that Charge Sheet! “

    thank you for reminding us of this.

    • 9
      0

      We earnestly hope and trust the request/suggestion made by Craig in the last para of his comment will receive early attention of Hon. current A G and necessary action taken accordingly in the name of JUSTICE of this country!!!

    • 9
      0

      Craig,

      What about the Penthouse received by Ravi Penthouse, as part of the gift, Santhosam, for facilitating the so-called bond Scam? Nothing is happening.

      In the meantime, the monks are preaching bana, imbeciles prostrating to them, others going to the Temples, Mosques and Churches and asking for Devine help in sorting out the mess, they themselves elected, and made into suckers.

  • 16
    0

    “It is the Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage was suspected under committing offence under Money Laundering laws, once Aluthgamage’s shocking mountain of wealth came into light when his wife sought Rs. 500 million settlement during their divorce. Having started his job as an insurance agent, Aluthgamage is today the owner of several plots of lands in Colombo and Kandy as well as other luxury properties. He is reported to have purchased a 20-perch land in Borella, another property in the highly residential area of Koswatta, Nawala and also said to be owned at least two plots of land in Kandy. He also owns luxury apartment at Trillium Residencies and another property at Kynsey Road, Colombo 7 in terms of the aforesaid Divorce case.

    Notwithstanding the amassed wealth accrued by this Minister, and despite a case filed before the Chief Magistrate’s Court of Colombo by the Criminal Investigation Department soon after ‘Yahapalanaya’ Government came into power, none of his wealth was freezed nor bard from utilizing to date. He is merrily enjoy those wealth without any encumbrances. The litigation commenced against the aforesaid Minister is merely frothy foam on top of beer which is produced by bubbles of gas!”

    Thank you for reminding us of this!

    • 4
      4

      It is Ranjan who said Mahindananda Aluthgamage was printing money. So ask banks what is their write off or loss, yearly, because of fake money.

  • 7
    0

    When Maximizing money in your heart the money commands you then competions starts demanding for greed & misconduct is soring. How Authoritarians Leaders made it happen & Get Away with It

  • 10
    0

    What we had during the 2015–2019 period was not “Good Governance,” it was “Save the Criminals Governance.”

  • 8
    1

    I Timothy 6:10 says “The love of money is the root of all evil”. Money is not evil. The love of money corrupts the mind and heart of people. To earn a salary by work is the way we provide for ourselves but when people see opportunities to deviate, it takes a great effort to refrain from corruption.

    • 4
      0

      Re-activate the Development Secretaries Council (DSC), introduced by JRJ. I recall the late doyen of the Civil Service, G.V.P Samarasinghe Chaired the Council. No major expenditure on any Capital item, equipment or services can be approved by Corporation Chairmen or Departmental Heads without the DSC approving.

      Second, like in the U.K., obtain a Certificate of Conformity from the SUPPLIER (Service, Project or Equipment), signed by the Chief Accountant and two other directors of the supplier giving every possible detail of the total value of the offer.

      This malady will end like a light go out!!!

  • 6
    2

    Congratulations Rohan Johnpillai, you have an admirer here. He tries to match your atrocious English but cannot.

  • 8
    0

    Wonder why the author did not bring Central Bank Scam during Rajapakse – Cabraal rule in this article?

    • 3
      0

      Buddhist,

      Why, the bond scams before 2015 and other scams?

      Selective memory.

      New Tribal Rules.

  • 8
    0

    The quotation ‘Behind every great fortune there is a crime’ was originally given by Honore de Balzac and reproduced by Mario Puzo in his novel.

  • 10
    0

    “Raj Rajaratnam, who is now serving a 11-year prison sentence in the USA” Raj was released after 8 years of a 11 year sentence, in September 2019.

  • 1
    4

    If money has not made a man happy, nothing will.

    Soma

  • 6
    1

    God Bless Sri Lanka!
    But God has left Sri Lanka many years ago.
    This is the first corrupted place on this earth.
    Shame….

  • 10
    2

    There is no race, religion, gender, language, political party of those who involved with money laundering crime. These criminals still represent people in governing this country and holding the top positions including president, prime minister while ordinary Banda, Kandiah and Ismail are locked up in jail for years for getting bribe of Rs.100 to do a small work or stealing. We all know KP who was the LTTE international arm supplier who owned billions worth of assets was arrested and brought back to Srilanka but there was no CID investigation, No charge from attorney general and left free. Politicians in govt parties, opposition parties, left parties, Mahanayake’s or media, civil societies all are keeping silent. Why? No one wanted to find the truth? Why? Only those who gave food to LTTE was arrested and jailed without charge? Why? Why?

    • 7
      0

      India wanted to interrogate KP, for the various offences committed by him during the time he was there, and was promised that following the completion of investigations in SL he would be handed over to India.
      That did not happen, and India too remains mysteriously silent up to date. What is the explanation for that?

  • 5
    3

    only in the dreams of the hapless common folk of this sad sorry nation will action be taken against the perpetrators of many a financial and foreign exchange currency misappropriations.
    =
    I must praise the slfp government between the years 1970/1977 who had the guts to jail a few high flyers for committing a few grave crimes.
    =
    when the government of good governance rode into power in January 2015, they came in with tons of pomp and glory that will clean up the stables but sadly to date not a successful prosecution has taken place.
    =
    even the ex grama sevakaya who held the reins of the yahapahalayana good government the sixth executive president has been able to build himself as a sorid of a torrid reputation as an ill-reputed money maker.
    his daughter, son in law and son are all credited with many a shady unsavory transaction.
    =
    these village folk never had it so good, they had Christmas shining on their plump backsides from the 8th of January 2015 till the 16th of November 2019.
    =
    even Mr.clean the ex-prime minister Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe by the folly of his ways has on the central bank’s bond transactions has had his impeccable reputation tainted.
    nobody says that he made an illegal cent or two but the folks he chose to run the various commercial and statutory enterprises soon with the freedom they had and the lure of easy never seen before evil opportunities became a breed or two of greedy illicit money-making machines.
    =
    now, I come to my favorite rajapuk clan, mahindan who was the undisputed leader of the pack from the time that he used the yellow-robed scantily clad Buddhist monks to become the PM, then in 2005 by bribing velu annai he played out billions

  • 7
    2

    MaRa and Gothapaya camp represents the biggest money launderers in our history.

    …. Helping Hambantota = $800 million
    ……………..China financed project commissions = $15 billions
    ………MIG deal =$78 million
    ….Bond scams prior to 2015 Ranil’s = $6 billions

    Whither anti Money Laundering laws ??????

    Lankawa economy is screwed up under Gothapaya. MaRa is prostrating to India with a begging bowl at this very moment.

  • 7
    0

    Kapils’s wife now will have to eat hoppers in the jail.

  • 5
    2

    Mr. Asahn Nanayakkara: To be very frank with you, I did not care to read your article in it’s entirety. The moment my eye catch the words “Money Laundering”, I knew it was useless proceeding further. In Sri Lanka how many have been punished for “Money Laundering”? There is a “LAW” and several cases have been filed. What was the outcome. A case in point is “RaviK” . The man who sent the money by “Illegal Means” is still in Jail, in USA. What happened to the man who received that money? He (RaviK) was discharged. Why? The Law Enforcement, in Sri Lanka, “KNEW” how to “GET HIM OUT”. There is another such case pending. The “Mig Deal”. That was also “Money Laundering” committed through a “Fake Company” supposed to have been in operation in UK. Were the “Authorities” (both in S/L & UK) able to find such a “Company” in their “Registered” address. NO. The present President is one of the “Accused”. When the case comes up, our AG is going to “Quote” that “Section 35 (1)” of the Constitution and the “Accused” will be “DISCHARGED”. So what is the “RELEVANCE” and “USE” of all those “LAWS” you quoted in your article. The only use of it would be a “Law Student” to get through his exams. Even that is useless today; because all other “FACILITIES” are abundantly available for anyone to “TOP” the pass marks and become a “LOWYER” – Sorry I misspelled. It must be “LAWYER”.

  • 2
    3

    I thought what Dr Rani’s mate ex Royal Dr Mahendran did was Insider Trading..

    Same goes for his SIL Aloysious and his buddy Palisena .

    And the Monetary Board Dudes and the other Dudes in CB who lent our poor workers life savings in the EPF to Aloysious at 6 % , over the Phone, after the good Father in Law put 3 hour extension to the Bond Closing .

    All Kapila and the Missus did was getting a Santhosam from Airbus which is normal practice even in the West, as long as it is added to the contract as marketing costs.

    That should come under taking Bribes if our Mahavamsa Law Book has something to that effect..

    If that is the case , then most of the Yahaplana Cabinet must be in Jail now .

    How much did the Dudes who payed that 142 USD Million as compo to a leasing company collect , to cancel the A 350 on J C Weliyamuna’s order.?.

    I don’t know where this Money Laundering is coming from?.

    I doubt whether even the new all powerful UNP Deputy Mr Ravi could be pinned for Money Landering , although he admitted that the Cash which bought him the Penthouse was brought in a Sack by the Boss of his Private Business.

    BTW I heard there is a long book of orders for the A 350 .
    And the Airlines are scrambling to get them .
    Wonder how much that Leasing Company made by selling our cancelled order?..

    Can anyone be kind enough to ask PC Weliyamuan , UNP Ravi or Kabir Hasseem who are the Dudes who did the deal?..

  • 1
    0

    Thank God they are finally putting a halt on all of these hitherto culturally accepted, social-climbing, much admired by the masses, capital venturism! Out of all the high-level thought that was supposed to be put out by our highly-intelligent Lankans who pride themselves on their superiority as per the Mahavamsa, this seems the only area they can actually shine bright. They have Skewed the system for their own people in their mad scramble to be Important. Masses eyes have been finally opened.

  • 3
    0

    “Money Has Never Made A Man Happy, Nor Will It”: An Insight To Money Laundering Laws In Sri Lanka:

    It has made the Paksas happy. Money Laundrring in Sri Lanka is endemic and is a Country where there is no RULE OF LAW. What you need in Sri Lanka is AM Laws. In a Lawless Coubtry it wouldnt make any sense. Look at the men at the top.
    Gotha got away with Murder in the ” Avant Garde” Case.
    Mahintha who was a Pauper came in a ” Kada Kada Loda Loda Vandi” and is the 6th Richest in Sri Lanka. How did he make his money.
    Basil ( Ali Baba) the biggest THIEF with the help of 40 thieves is now Billionaire.
    Moeny Laundering is embeded in the Ruling Dynasty.

  • 0
    0

    ‘ A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
    Loving favour rather than silver or gold.’
    (Proverbs)

    • 0
      1

      Sandy, thank you.
      .
      ‘All flesh died that moved upon the earth.’
      God drowns everything that breathes air. From newborn babies to koala bears — all creatures great and small, the Lord God drowned them all.
      (Genesis 7:21-23)

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