Currently there is no probe conducted into the alleged reports that said a number of individuals and companies linked to Sri Lanka own secret offshore entities, Central Bank Deputy Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe said.
Speaking to Mirror Business about the database that stripped the secrecy of 10 offshore jurisdictions, Dr. Weerasinghe said, “We have no knowledge about this database. In fact, I got to know about it when I read the newspapers. So currently we are not conducting any investigation into the alleged facts of this report since they are just newspaper reports.”
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has published this database which contains leaked information on ownership and networks of more than 100,000 offshore entities.
However, when Mirror Business contacted Deputy Secretary to the Treasury Dr. B.M.S. Batagoda, he pointed out that although he is not aware of such a database, there can be legitimate uses in maintaining the ownership of secret offshore entities such as bank accounts and company shares.
Dr. Batagoda said that Sri Lanka recently relaxed the laws relating to the ownership of capital in foreign countries and added that if specified procedures are followed, Sri Lankan individuals can invest or hold capital in other countries.
Expressing similar sentiments, the ICIJ has also stated that they “do not intend to suggest or imply that any persons, companies or other entities included in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database have broken the law.”
Controller of the Exchange P.H.O. Chandrawansa said that he cannot comment on the matter and added that he has been advised to refer all questions about this matter to the Central Bank Governor.
However, attempts made to contact Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal proved to be futile.(Sarasi Paranamanna)