1 December, 2020

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Swiss Francs 85 Million Invested In Swiss Banks By Sri Lankans Last Year

By Feizal Samath –

Investments by Sri Lankan individuals, companies or the Sri Lankan government in secret Swiss accounts totalled more than 85 million Swiss francs (CHF) in 2011 while liabilities listed against Sri Lanka were 44 million in the same year, official data from the Swiss National Bank (SNB) show.

The Swiss franc is higher or equal in value against the US dollar (1CHF = 1.048 US$). SNB is Switzerland’s central bank. However it doesn’t provide details of who owns these assets or liabilities and has listed these data under each country. Swiss secrecy laws protect the identity of the investor/debtor, which is among a host of reasons why much black money or ‘dirty’ money is believed to be stashed by corrupt governments, individuals or businesspersons.

Assets and liabilities of more than 200 countries are listed from 2002 to 2011, in SNB’s latest 2011 annual report.
In 2002, Sri Lanka’s assets in all Swiss banks totalled 22.9 million CHF, 2003 – 34.7 million, 2004 – 105.5 million, 2005 – 177.6 million, 2006 – 56.5 million, 2007 – 123.5 million, 2008 – 104.8 million, 2009 – 87.5 million and 2010 – 111.3 million.
Under this category, most of the investments were made in savings accounts.

Liabilities were 2002 – 36.3 million, 2003 – 84 million, 2004 – 205.4 million, 2005 – 206.2 million, 2006 – 166.8 million, 2007 – 171.4 million, 2008 – 53.1 million, 2009 – 50.7 million and 2010 – 51.9 million.The figures also showed that Sri Lankan banks had invested CHF 12.3 million, 12.3, 24.2, 78.4, 41.5, 94.1, 60.6, 82.1, 85.7, and 77.7 from 2002 to 2011.
In comparison, Bangladesh with a larger population (about 150 million) and wealthier per capita group than Sri Lanka had lesser investments.

Its highest asset-year was 2005 – CHF 94.4 million and lowest in 2006 – CHF 22.2 million. Its liabilities were, however, as high as Sri Lanka at CHF 243 million in 2007.

It was unclear to some local bankers who analysed the data as to whether each annual figure reflected a carry-forward amount from the previous year or whether each year was a separate, new investment figure. If it was the latter, investments under Sri Lanka would total 910.3 million (for the past 10 years) while liabilities would total 1.07 billion.

Bankers also questioned as to whether the Central Bank and its Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) is aware of the SNB annual report and whether action is being taken. Central Bank officials were not available for comment.
Here is the SNB web link with the details of assets and liabilities of all countries:

http://www.snb.ch/en/iabout/stat/statpub/bchpub/stats/bankench/bankench_bLaender_D32

Courtesy Sunday Times

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Latest comments

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    Wonder how many swiss bank accounts Nivard Cabraal the criminal clown who runs the Central Bank along with the Rajapakse brothers and sons have? The Pakistan – Zidari – model of corrupt military business with swiss bank accounts is gaining momentum in Sri Lanka it seems.

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    The owners of the Swiss Bank funds should be traced. Very likely these were gained from looting public funds such as the EPF via insider trading in the stock market and sell off of public/national lands. These Swiss account holding business cronies of the regime should be caught and the funds acquired to pay of the country’s debt on 500 million bond due in October this year. Nivard Cabraal must be prevented from issuing a 1 billion bond issue that will cause further debt for ordinary people and a rise in cost of living with dollar depreciation. The joke has gone on long enough!

  • 0
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    I am reminded of Rohitha Abeygunawardene MP Kaluthara who has a case against him for having over Rs. 485 million in his account unable to account for. He is one of the Nation Building Ministers in the MR regime, leave alone building the NAtion, but certainly has build himself. The AG’s Dept. has hidden the file and the case is not heard to a conclusion and the man praises MR all the time doing MR’s dirty work. How can any citizen seek justice, about the monies invested in the Swiss Bank, when the President himself had Tsunami Funds donated to the poor affected had stashed it away in the Standard Chartered Bank Rajagiriya in a private account?

    • 0
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      gamini

      Has any of the politician or the official of the state served prison sentence for any of the crimes including murder, embezzlement, corruption, war crimes, sexual misconduct, money laundering ……… in South Asia leave alone Sri Lanka?

      In case if you happened to know such people please let me have the list.

      • 0
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        Native, In Thailand Thakasin was unseated and debarred from contesting elections due to corruption. In Indonesia a former President was tried for corruption and convicted to jail. There are a few more, but only these come to my mind just now, as I rack my mind for the names of others which I do not remember well, hence I can not quote.

        It is no excuse that we should not bring to book just because others may not have done. We have to make a start somewhere, just mere talking will not do.

        • 0
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          gamini

          The two examples you quoted took place in South East Asia and not in South Asia.

          You say:

          “It is no excuse that we should not bring to book just because others may not have done.”

          I totally agree with you.

          However I was merely pointing out the culture in which we live in and have accepted or conditioned to believe it as a way of life. The body of evidence available to our people as well as to the people of South Asia is mind boggling yet the voters continue to vote for the same party under same leaders. Don’t you think this is yet another proof of the stupidity of these people?

          The people being stupid seem not to demand the best in their leaders, in their thoughts, words and deeds. In this regard people taking up arms in rare occasions to dislodge the ruling class be it politicians or the state functionaries should not come as a surprise.

          I agree people must be tough on terrorism but more importantly they should be tough on causes of terrorism. As long as the people are misguided by their own stupidity they they do not have a case to complain about.

      • 0
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        Dear Native,

        India
        Kalmadi-commonwealth minister
        Former telecoms minister A Raja and MP Kanimozhi

        President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismissed president bhutto in August 6, 1990 on grounds of corruption

        These are the names which come to my mind right now, but if you look for it , I’m sure we could find some more !
        Tell me even one Politian’s or an official’s name who found guilty on corruption charges since 2005!

        Dear Editors,
        Why don’t you publish the names of the Swiss bank account holders, which Wikileaks revealed last year?

        • 0
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          Srilal:

          I repeat my question for your benefit:

          “Has any of the politician or the official of the state served prison sentence for any of the crimes including murder, embezzlement, corruption, war crimes, sexual misconduct, money laundering ……… in South Asia leave alone Sri Lanka?”

          Note the words “served prison sentence”.

          As far as I know I don’t think South Asian bigwigs have ever served prison sentence. A Raja and MP Kanimozhi are out on bail pending investigation.

          We know Fonseka was sentenced to prison for charges other than what I described above. This was MR’s way of saying “who is the life time boss of this country”.

          There was Sakaria Commission inquiry against Karunanithy and the report is gathering dust.

          Bofors is another major scandal.

          Only the small fries go to prison if they chose not to have powerful friends or relatives.

      • 0
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        How about Sarath Fonseka ?

        • 0
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          Mohideen Bawa

          Fonseka was sent to prison for other reasons than what I have mentioned above.

    • 0
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      Two police officers investigating Rohitha A’ case were warned by the member of the Bribery Commission who was earlier a DIG not to pursue the investigation.When they refused, both were transferred out.
      Rohitha A has persistently refused to appear before the commission.
      Later, funds were refused to the Commission to recruit its own investigaters.
      Long ago, JRJayawardena wound up the then Bribery Commission, citing “lack of funds”.
      S B Dissanayake was reported to have claimed that the Rs. 48 Mn he had, was given him by “friends”.This was accepted by the commission.Photos of his large palace at Hangurangeta – taker from a helicopter presumably – were in the media.
      It is astonishing that such persons become ministers!

  • 0
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    Your web did excellant job, reveal the Swiss Bank data of Sri lankan wealth to the public.Is belongs to whom will be come soor or later.
    No doubt these are unauthorised funds earn illegally. Indeed the funds owener are inviciable ,but eraning dervied from rural masses of Sri-Lanka.
    But culprits had been obtain so-called mandate from poor or have NOT of our island.

  • 0
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    Webmaster,

    I checked just now with Anura Bastian and he never wrote in ever let alone 11.44am,July 1st..I checked with him.
    Please call him if you need to clarify or better still take the comment down if possible.
    Thanks

  • 0
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    “Bangladesh with a… wealthier per capita group than Sri Lanka”

    lolwut

    • 0
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      Did Bangladesh have 35 years of violence because of indian immigrants who wanted a separate country in Sri Lanka ?

      Comnpare the three years of development (from 2009 – 2011) and the previous 35 years.

      • 0
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        Jimsofty asks:

        “Did Bangladesh have 35 years of violence because of indian immigrants who wanted a separate country in Sri Lanka ?”

        Have you forgotten past 2,500 years of violence because of Indian Bengali and Tamil Kallathonies?

        Compare the destruction of 2’500 years to whatever period you want to.

  • 0
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    Oh !!! faizal Samath……… You were clever in not speculating as you did not know or it was nid anywhere who these Investors were…
    IT COULD BE ANYBODY…..

    But….. you have let off terrible WIND and see the stench of the speculators IN THE COLUMN.

    Minds running riot with speculations, accusations, name callings ect….
    Did you get this article published to have fun or enjoy the inputs.
    This is called mischief journalism.
    Anyway, better than speculation. Good work Samath. have fun with the
    rep- lies.

  • 0
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    The Swiss Govt has dirty hands as it is contributing to make us poorer.
    Lankans who have clean money don’t need to stash it in Switzerland,it’s the big time politicians who need to hide.

  • 0
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    Nothing will happen as long the thieves are in power and we supporting these thieves in the name of war heroes including the BIGGIES. So all of you just shut up and be quiet. You’re only barking up the wrong tree until you do something positive. Sleeping dogs never catch a rat.FULL STOP.

  • 0
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    A quote from http://www.tisrilanka.org/?p=4166

    “An MP draws Rs. 54,285 as the fixed salary with a fuel allowance of Rs. 30,000, Transport Allowance of Rs. 10,000, and Entertainment Allowance of Rs. 1,000 and hand phone allowance of Rs. 2,000 a month in addition to Rs, 500 for every parliamentary session.”

    Clearly, the only other source of this filthy lucre is corruption in the form of kick-backs and bribes.

  • 0
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    All are armchair critics who cannot initiate a plan to confront these corrupt people, we are very good at scuttling any movement that comes to liberate us calling them with all kinds of names.

    only option we have is Friday forum, Movement for peoples struggle (FSP) or JVP.

    Don’t count on the Greens they are same as Blue.

    • 0
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      Jim Hardy, with all due respect I differ from your belief that the JVP past or present is sincere in their effort to govern this country with honest means. The JVP has shown in ample measure, alligning with the corrupt CBK govt and the corrupt MR govt, their duplicity, dishonesty, lack of vission and understanding on current issues. As for the Greens I concede there had been corruption and even violence under a few, but the other respected have laid the foundations to benifit the country at large. The Colonisation schemes where five acres of paddy, three acres of highland, a two roomed house and a Co-operative was presented to the landless poor of the Gampaha District. As against the SLFP led coalition govts always boasted they were for the poor and wanted the rich wiped out. The result was that they became richer than the Rich whom they wiped out and the poor became poorer. It is always the UNO that did something solid to the country for all to benifit. The Mahaweli Development or the Open Economy are land marks in this country that elevated the life styles of the people which is undeniable. True there have been some ill effects in both. But remember even the food we eat although nourishing, may cause a cancer to grow within. Does that mean we should not eat. Similarly in anything if the good out weighs the bad, one has to look at what is advantages. Now look at all the critics who shouted their voices hoarce, have they and their children not benifited with foreign education and the facilities provided? Then how do you say not to count on the Greens because they are same as the Blue. You may not agree with me, I see this country will benifit from only one individual yet remaining in the political arena as a potential leader to lead this Nation to better times, who have proved himself as a Gentleman and an Honest one at that. He is none other than Ranil Wickremasinghe. True he may have short comings as no PR or not the very friendly type to bluff the masses. But he is Genuine, Honest and more knowledgeble than the rest.

      As for the rest of the Friday Forum or the FSP are all Angels in your view, till they display their true colours once they get power to hand. However as the old adage goes, ‘The known Devil is better than the unknown Angel’. I truely believe in this and it would not have been coined without reason.

  • 0
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    Are there any helping Hambantota accounts?

  • 0
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    I fully agree with the writer’s main argument. Foreign assets coming into Sri Lanka, as well as those acquired as commissions and grafts by politicians in power and the wealth created within the country by businessmen, are being transferred and kept in caches abroad by our corrupt Sri Lankan leaders of all sorts.

    No sooner than the present regime came into power they passed legislation to allow Sri Lankans to open back accounts in foreign countries for the first time in our history as I recall. I asked myself the question why, what is the purpose when the best Sri Lankan salary at top levels of public service is about one-lakh per month (approxiamately £500) and hardly enough to save anything with high cost of living in Sri Lanka. Where would the average citizen get money to put in foreign banks?

    One does not need rocket science to understand that the new legislation was definitely intended for the benefit of corrupt politcians. The family has got one of their kind to head Bank of Ceylon, who would be in a good position to manipulate big money. They claim some 1 Trillion (I suppose USD) input of assets in the recent times, but no account of where that money is today.

    There is a big campaign for expatriates to return to SLK and help the country. The bottom line of that campaign is, “please bring your cash assets from saving and selling foreign properties back to SLK”. Is it for the benefit of the country? No my a**e, not at all. This love for expatriates stops, once the assets are in SLK, so that the local politicians and everyone else in the inner circle of the family could hive away that money abroad under their personal names, or pet projects. So why should any Sri Lankan living abroad now, return to SLK with their assets. You might as well rename your accounts with the names of politicians whom you wish to support. This is the reality of this new found love for expatriates.

    Yesterday, I read an advert from BOC London Branch. They are ready to give loans up to £1M to BOC account holders living in UK to buy second properties for the purpose of renting on a 15-year term. I said to myself, what is the catch and where did BOC get all this money. In UK there is strict regulations about loan of money because of economic downturn. Yet BOC has suddenly got all this money that they generously wish to give away, with strings attached of course, to no doubt the friends of the ruling family. What for? To keep the money safe for at least 15-years. A different way of hiding away the assets of Sri Lanka hrough personal manipulation.

    Anyone who puts foreign money in BOC SLK, be aware where your money will end up? The report from Swiss Banks is a real eye opener and I hope the glib Sri Lankan diaspora living abroad take good note of this. This is the reality. As to, the glib and blinded Sri lankans in Sri Lanka, I am afraid the promised utopia would not come to you, because it is being stolen from you even before the money reaches your shores.

    All development projects and mega shows are only geared to spending big money, so that the 10% or the 20% creamed off becomes bigger and bigger, and end up in Swiss Banks. The projects are of little use for rural edevelopment, farmers, local irrigation, or improving our schools and hospitals, and the general welfare of rural people who are the 70-80% proportion of Sri lankan population.

  • 0
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    Bo, you are spot on. Readers please note, someone has bought the Pent House flat at a jaw breaking price of a New York high rise building in the US, considered to be a class of it’s own. The question is who the person is? Do not be surprised if it is a sibling of the first family, as an e-mail is presently doing the rounds that Mrs. Obama being highly excited of the propect of one of the Obama girls tying the knot to one of the Rajapaksa siblings when our first lady has told Mrs. Obama of the interest of one of her sons wanting to become an Astronaut to by property in the moon. Expectations Unlimited, is it?

  • 0
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    Wonder how many swiss bank accounts Nivard Cabraal the criminal clown who runs the Central Bank along with the Rajapakse brothers and sons have? The Pakistan – Zidari – model of corrupt military business with swiss bank accounts is gaining momentum in Sri Lanka it seems

  • 0
    0

    You have left enough room for speculation and I bet Chandrika is one Ranil another, Mangala,Tissa Attanayake,Lalith Kotalawela and Donald Gnanakoon. Have you thought of Velu Pillai Prabakaran maybe not being pro LTTE Feizal your story raises a stink and nothing more. The previous Governments fought wars that they hoped they would never win. You know what, no-one is ever told that Kieth Noyar’s source was the Tamilnet’s vaste range of correspondents as was Iqbal Athas’. Thought of that man? White vans?

    • 0
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      Here is Peter Casie Chetty with no kasi but a Chetty, and he has lent all his money on interest to these account holders who have in turn banked at the Swiss Bank, also speculating.

  • 0
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    Thanks for this! Please write about the international debt as well, and the crook Cabraal’s plans to further indebt Lanka at this time though a 1 billion bond issue? Meanwhile, Hambantota port is borrowing another 1 billion, and Sri Lankan Airlines is borrowing from Mid-east Banks. All these loans are underwritten by the government which is to say the people of Lanka who will carry the debt once the money is spent and transferred into Rajapakse’s swiss bank accounts. Meanwhile, China is indebting Sri Lanka and causing the economy to crash by funding the white elephant infrastructure projects of the Rajapakse regime. Now the regime which is stone broke is going to raise another 2 billion dollars on govt bonds (1 million) and on the Hambantota white elephant port and airport to pay of the Chinese. This is a joke and Sri Lankan people do not think very highly about the so-called “aid” from China to prop up a dictator!

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