The Attorney General has indicted former parliamentarian Sajin de Vaas Gunawardane under the Money Laundering Act for alleged suspicious deposits of money worth of Rs. 306 million through his several companies.
The former parliamentarian was indicted under Section 3  [a] of the Money Laundering Act in the Colombo Permanent High Court.
The indictment was filed following an inquiry conducted by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) based on a complaint received on February 2, 2015.
The CID investigation has revealed that Sajin de Vaas Gunawardane has owned a group of companies under the name of COSMOS which has 21 companies at the time he gave nominations to contest the parliamentary election in 2010.
Though he has resigned from the directorship of all those companies and transferred his shares to his wife before he became a member of the 14th Parliament, the evidence revealed that he has effectively run the full operation of those companies even after he became an MP.
The CID investigation also had revealed that Mr. Gunawardane had made suspicious transactions using out of the 21 companies that he owned. According to the Prosecution, he had allegedly deposited Rs 458,747,757 worth money in the accounts of those companies.
Evidence was also disclosed that Mr. Gunawardane used to bring in cash and asked to deposit them in accounts of those companies. It has been further revealed that Mr. Gunawardane used to withdraw cash from those same companies though he had not had any legal bearing to do so as he has rescinded his ownership and directorship of those companies.
The investigators found out that neither Mr. Gunawardane nor his wife in their own admission have such a known income comparable to the vast sums of money he has made as deposits in those companies.
The deficit between all of those deposits and his and his wife's income including company drawings he has made illegally has been identified as Rs 306,268,194.
According to Coordinating Officer to the AG, SC Nishara Jayaratne, Mr. Gunawardane has failed to explain how he earned such an income to make those deposits especially in a time during which he acted as an elected member of the parliament. (Shehan Chamika Silva)