Extradition of Mahendran: Singapore rejects President's allegation

20 March 2019 03:19 pm - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Singapore today rejected Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena's allegation it was sheltering a former central bank chief wanted for fraud, saying Colombo failed to provide documents to support its extradition request.

Sirisena on Monday accused Singapore of sheltering Arjuna Mahendran, one of his country's former central bank chiefs wanted in connection with a high-profile $74 million insider trading scam.

Sirisena said he appealed to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in January to return Mahendran, who is believed to be in Singapore, but claimed nothing had been done.

Mahendran, a Singapore national of Sri Lankan origin, was accused in 2015 of passing sensitive information to his bond-dealer son-in-law to make millions.

The pair are accused of manipulating bond auctions in 2015 and 2016, causing losses of over $11 million to the state.

A spokesperson for Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said authorities in the city-state have been cooperating with their Sri Lankan counterparts on the case since January.

However, Sri Lanka's request to return Mahendran "lacked certain information required under Singapore´s extradition laws" and the city-state has requested Colombo to provide them, the spokesperson told AFP.

"To date, Singapore has not yet received the requested supporting information and documents," the spokesperson said.

"We look forward to receiving the requested information from Sri Lanka, so that we can consider the request further in accordance with our laws."

Singapore can extradite fugitives to declared Commonwealth countries, which include Sri Lanka.

In February last year, Mahendran was named a key suspect in the multi-million dollar bond scam in Sri Lanka. He fled abroad, failing to appear in court to respond to charges.

A damning presidential report into the scandal accused Mahendran of insider trading and recommended the state recover its losses from Mahendran and his son-in-law.

Sri Lanka's central bank also launched a forensic audit to ascertain the extent of insider trading during Mahendran's tenure at the bank.

The fallout deepened acrimony between Sirisena and his coalition partner Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who handpicked Mahendran to head the central bank in 2015.

The pair's strained relationship collapsed entirely in late 2018, when Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe, plunging the country into political chaos as both men competed for power.

Wickremesinghe was reappointed after months of limbo when the Supreme Court intervened and ruled that Sirisena had acted outside the constitution by dismissing the prime minister and parliament. (AFP)

  Comments - 9

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  • bala Wednesday, 20 March 2019 04:14 PM

    Typical Sirisena keeps blaming all the others for his incapability.

    Blair Wednesday, 20 March 2019 04:34 PM

    What about udayanga weeratunga and saliya wickramasuriya,mr president. Call Emir of Dubai and president Trump.

    Gamage Wednesday, 20 March 2019 04:40 PM

    Mr. Sirisena has many to catch and punish from Rajapassa government as he pledged during 2015 presidential election. He has not delivered on any of those promises and those thieves who pilfered government coffers are still living in SL and many of them roam in the SL parliament. He should show to the world he is a trustworthy person in words and actions to believe him as a serious leader.

    Buddhist Wednesday, 20 March 2019 05:45 PM

    Not a single word of Sirisena can be trusted, for that matter he cannot be trusted at all. Only thing he is good at is stabbing on the back.

    Kingsley Wijesinhe Wednesday, 20 March 2019 05:46 PM

    If the Sri Lankan side has not yet furnished information requested by the Singaporean government, the President should find out who is responsible for the delay, deal with him severely, and then see that the information is sent immediately.

    M R NAZIM Thursday, 21 March 2019 07:58 AM

    පච වුනා නේද? ඇත්තටම මේවා නොදන්න රටේ ජනපති

    ram Thursday, 21 March 2019 08:03 AM

    what about translated version of Presidential inquire on bond scam. we were told by president that the delay in taking action on bond scam is due to translated version of bond scam commission report.

    til Thursday, 21 March 2019 08:27 AM

    now the blame is to MS,expedite of providing required documents with personal supervision,meantime keep an eye on Aloysis as well , otherwise he will jump out of the country

    BuffaloaCitizen Thursday, 21 March 2019 09:33 AM

    Spore, please ignore this gallery talk by the President to the local yakkos. They like to hear this kind of kaivaroo empty talk bcos that is their level of intelligence.

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