INTERPOL had issued a ‘Red Warrant' on former Sri Lankan Envoy to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga, naming him as a fugitive wanted by the Sri Lankan authorities, Police Media Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara announced.
Ex-diplomat Weeratunga was wanted in connection with certain discrepancies that had taken place in the acquisition of four MiG-27 fighter jets from the Ukrainian arms company 'Ukrinmash' in 2006 and financial misappropriation said to be taken place in overhauling four MiG fighter jets owned by the Air Force.
According to SP Gunasekara the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) had received a complaint on March 10, 2015 over the incident.
He said investigations had revealed that Mr. Weeratunga had interfered in the MiG deal and there had been suspicious deposits to his local bank accounts from foreign countries at this time.
In order to obtain a statement relating to the investigation from Mr. Weeratunga, the Fort Magistrate had issued summons on him to appear in Court on July 15, 2016, an order that he dis-obeyed.
SP Gunasekara explained that the Fort Magistrate had issued the open warrant for Mr. Weeratunga in October 20, 2016 for ignoring the court order and some USD 1.7 million amounts in his 16 bank accounts were ordered to be frozen.
Later, the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) sought INTERPOL assistance to arrest Mr. Weeratunge who was evading the courts by living overseas and the ‘INTERPOL’ issued a ‘Blue notice’ over the ex-diplomat.
SP Gunasekara said that Mr. Weeratunga’s diplomatic service had ended on February 28, 2015 but he had not returned his diplomatic passport No D3643585 to the Foreign Ministry and instead he had obtained a passport bearing the
No N5400885 from the Immigration and Emigration Controller.
In October 4, 2016 Mr. Weeratunga had travelled to the United Arab Emirates and the Immigration and Emigration Controller had impounded both his passports following an order made by the Fort Magistrate on June 30, 2017.
Mr. Weeratunga was detained at the Dubai Airport on February 4 this year while in transit to the United States but was later released after being transferred to the Abu Dhabi authorities.
A seven member delegation was dispatched to bring back the ex-diplomat on February 7, based on the bilateral understanding and the diplomatic relations between the two countries, however they were made to return home emptyhanded on February 13.
A statement issued by Police Media Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara yesterday said that Mr. Weeratunga had several opportunities to prove his innocence on the charges. However he was only attempting to create a false image over the country’s judicial system among the people by issuing media statements.
He further said Mr. Weeratunga had never requested an opportunity to make a statement to investigation officers although he claims to have done so.
Therefore, SP Gunasekara said it had been observed that Mr. Weeratunga’s claims were baseless and he was only evading the authorities without obeying the judiciary. “Mr. Weeratunga is a Sri Lankan citizen. Instead of attempting to prove his innocence using social media, Mr. Weeratunga can appear before a court of law and prove his innocence,” SP Gunasekara added. (Thilanka Kanakarathna)
Chinthaka Friday, 23 February 2018 00:53
Can't find the name on Interpol website. May be another drama.
Reply : 8 55
Sincere Friday, 23 February 2018 13:56
Did anyone get the help of the Russian hacker who was accorded red carpet honour here to come and then to go?
Reply : 0 3
Real Peace Friday, 23 February 2018 01:21
Well done, Sri Lanka! The Brothers must be shaking now. Bring Mahendran as well to face justice.
Reply : 10 61
Unreal Ease Friday, 23 February 2018 12:19
Why should your brothers shake ? What bother's your brothers Real Peace ?
Reply : 11 6
Banda Friday, 23 February 2018 17:48
Udayanger's 'corrupt' deal bought MIGs that help won the seratist war whereas Arjuna's bond scam brought no tangible thing but continuing loss to the country. Good thing is; people know now which is deal ruin the country.
Reply : 7 3
Justica USA Friday, 23 February 2018 02:39
Are our authorities that stupid to initially request a blue warrant n then a red warrant, whereby the chance of arresting fugitives like him goes abegging? The 7 officials who were sent had a free shopping trip thanks to FCID... wonder how he could have used the diplomatic passport, n then requested for a regukar passport, wich was issued while he was absconding. Track down as to who issued the passport n on whose instructions ? We are becoming the laughing stock if the world...
Reply : 5 57
Harry Friday, 23 February 2018 04:14
Excellent! Follow the same to Mahendran's clan.
Reply : 3 50
Dr Thiru Friday, 23 February 2018 04:25
I can’t believe such ignorance of the Sri Lankan Police. What ever is issued by the Interpol ,red,blue,green,or pink notice is not legally binding,the host countries where the suspect lives or pass through decides the fate of the suspect. That is why you have to bypass the Interpol and make direct contact with those countries and present your argument.
Reply : 0 40
Bala Friday, 23 February 2018 04:45
If passports impounded he may still be in Dubai. Or has he scooted off somewhere else. What about the sureties who provided him bail. Hope they are jailed - then he will come here.
Reply : 1 34
Tax Payer Friday, 23 February 2018 06:14
That's good... another free trip for yet another team.
Reply : 3 34
Sambo Friday, 23 February 2018 06:30
We don't trust a word of you people anymore.
Reply : 4 38
Rajkumar Friday, 23 February 2018 06:35
What a joke is this, again they are using the “Colour Jokers” Interpol to get the suspect arrested. We could have instead asked Inspector Clouseau ,he could have done a better job than this Interpol.
Reply : 2 25
nick Friday, 23 February 2018 06:41
the real culprits are right under our nose why dont we catch them instead of going after this man imagine if this fellow stolen from us this much what about the guys who was responsible for this I mean that time defense secretary maybe via DM Android App
Reply : 6 32
Jagath Leanage Friday, 23 February 2018 07:49
Just another joke .
Reply : 0 22
Jaliya Friday, 23 February 2018 07:59
Sixteen bank accounts and $1.6M frozen assets doesn't seems too much to jump too many hoops. We have those who swindled billions of $ and some of the money can be right under their mattress we simply ignore the bigger fish and throw the bait at the guppy. Nevertheless, now he only hope to chose the safer transit out of UAE .... a 12 year old retired camel from the track.
Reply : 2 21
Ajja Friday, 23 February 2018 08:02
Too late to close the stable door after the horse has bolted...at least now list out the culprits in advance and notice to INTERPOL
Reply : 0 18
Ceylon Friday, 23 February 2018 11:29
Recruit some good lawyers to the police.as usuall police and courts made stupid mistakes for this case.can they still wear cloths??.
Reply : 0 3
Kalu Sudda Friday, 23 February 2018 11:37
Red notice in Feb18? This pathetic saga epitomises the working mode of RW. Vacillating, inept, lazy
Reply : 1 7
weera Friday, 23 February 2018 11:39
If Interpol has issued a red warrant, his name and photo should be there in the Interpol website. You can check.
Reply : 0 2
Wijey Friday, 23 February 2018 11:58
This website is all what Interpol has,it has no police powers to arrest or investigate.
Reply : 1 3
pala Friday, 23 February 2018 12:10
Now at least Lankan police knows if a culprit to bring to country red notice is must , hurry up issue it to mahendran too.
Reply : 0 6
A Juranpathy Friday, 23 February 2018 12:21
This is utter bullshit. Currently the Interpol's website does not list Udayanga's name, in the area set aside for wanted persons.
Reply : 0 3
Banda Friday, 23 February 2018 12:34
How about CENTRAL BANK BOND SCAM MAIN ACCUSER.
Reply : 0 3
kumar dassenaieke Friday, 23 February 2018 12:41
what happens now if Ukrain says he is a citizen of that country and wants him there?
Reply : 0 2
naren Friday, 23 February 2018 12:58
We have heard similar rhetorics so many times but nothing tangible happened so far.
Reply : 0 3
Game Friday, 23 February 2018 16:41
Former President appointed him. There is allegations against him.He disregards courts orders. Former President meets him outside Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan people vote for this President. What type of a country is this.
Reply : 0 3
sena* Monday, 26 February 2018 18:49
Now as the minister of law and order PM ranil as his next immediate duty remand red notice to bring down criminal arujuna mahendran from Singapore
Reply : 0 0
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