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Task force to seize illegal assets abroad

19 March 2015 04:29 pm - 43     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to establish a 13-member Special Presidential Task Force (SPTF) to track down and seize illegally acquired assets in other countries owned by Sri Lankans and transfer them to the government. The cabinet approval for the task force had been granted on Wednesday.

Cabinet spokesman and Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the SPTF would probe matters relating to money laundering and assets acquired unlawfully and kept outside Sri Lanka by Sri Lankans.

“We have information that a minimum of US$ 10 billion has been deposited in foreign banks by Sri Lankans and US$ 3 billion of it has been deposited in the National Bank of Dubai. We are aware that little over US$ 1 billion has been transferred to another location from an account held by a member of a leading family in Sri Lanka soon after the Presidential election from the Dubai bank and another one billion has also been transferred in US$ 500 packages after that by a powerful Ministry Secretary and a Parliamentarian,” he said.     

The cabinet memo submitted by President Sirisena says state assets and revenue which have been unlawfully acquired or procured by Sri Lankan nationals and other persons acting on behalf of them and are being concealed or kept outside Sri Lanka by such persons are to be probed and effective steps would be taken to seize and return them to Sri Lanka to be confiscated and vested in the General Treasury.

The SPTF will be empowered to make requests on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka to foreign governments, law enforcement bodies, investigating and prosecuting agencies and to judicial authorities, enabling it to discharge its functions in support of the probe.

The Task force will also transmit to the relevant law enforcement authorities and statutory bodies such as the Commission to Investigate. Allegations of Bribery or Corruption and the Financial Crimes Investigation Division of the Police Department, and to foreign law enforcement and prosecuting agencies, reliable information and investigational findings, which may be useful to such authorities in the conduct of criminal investigations for the purpose of prosecuting offenders.

Parallel to the discharge of functions assigned to the Taskforce, the Taskforce will be required to take steps to draft and submit for the consideration of the Cabinet Ministers a Bill to provide statutory recognition to the Taskforce by the creation of a suitable statutory body to take-over and discharge the duties and functions of the Taskforce, and to comprehensively deal with proceeds of crime.

The Taskforce will be empowered to obtain information from any public Officer or Ministry, Department or Statutory Body of the Government of Sri Lanka for the purpose of discharging the functions.

The Taskforce will directly report to President Sirisena on the discharge of its functions.

The 13 member SPTF will be comprised of a representative of the President and the Prime Minister, the Attorney General, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Director, Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank, Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs  and the Ministry of Justice, IGP, Bribery Commission, Commissioner, General, Department of Inland Revenue, Director General, Sri Lanka Customs, Director, State Intelligence Service, Lead Counsel & Chief Investigation Officer, Commission of Inquiry on Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse and Misuse of Power and Privileges, Director, Financial Crimes Investigation Division, Police Department.

The Central Bank will provide logistical support and other facilities for the functioning of the Taskforce.

The Chairman and the Secretary will be named by President Sirisena after nominating the SPTF. (Sandun A Jayasekera)
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  Comments - 43

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  • Push Friday, 20 March 2015 04:17 AM

    If they have evidence that a family member has withdrawn so much money isn’t that sufficient evidence to arrest that person at least? Further questioning him could unearth more evidence as to where the other money is and also who the other persons are. Before giving the news to the media these are the steps they should have followed.

    Guy Friday, 20 March 2015 04:52 AM

    Easier said than done. Other countries laws need to be taken into account. Whether Deeds be transferred out of one name into that of the State is a complex legal minefield.

    ranga Friday, 20 March 2015 05:14 AM

    In a country where an abducted under aged child cannot be reunited with her parents, these bunch of jokers are talking about seizing assets abroad...the only task force that can be set will be a pacha prachara task force...we have had enough of this now...thank you Minister for the entertainment... But no more please...

    alaha Saturday, 21 March 2015 03:45 AM

    Who`s illegel assets will be the first Minister Rajitha Senaratne

    Citizen Perera Friday, 20 March 2015 06:59 PM

    OMG high sounding TASK FORCE Hope not an empty vessel making a loud noise via DM Android App

    sss Friday, 20 March 2015 07:19 AM

    but looks like some of the crooks are clever enough to have friends on both sides.

    Pls ListenTO This Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:13 PM

    Mr. Rajitha. before all these you have done the recording and questions... So its time for arrest them without delaying any more. You know what they do is, they try to hide all and make different methods to safeguard them. So best practice is to put them in the net of jail and then if we give proper punishment like government do for normal people in the jail, then everything will come out easily and there by you can do further

    Euclid Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:24 PM

    See a heathy sign. No UNP or politicians are in the "Task Force" team. Looks like the President has finally realised the happening in this baby Jumbo cabinet.

    LogicalCitizen Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:29 PM

    First prob the minister giving this statement. Second prob the member of committee CB governor. Then prev regime.

    sacre blieu Friday, 20 March 2015 08:11 AM

    So where are all these gods. Crime today and have special religious ceremony tomorrow. We have inherited a reservoir full of crime and will it stop here?

    Darm Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:34 PM

    Wake up! Stop this drama and start to govern the country! It seems you guys have no skills other than promoting gossip and making stories. God bless Sri Lanka!

    TONY Friday, 20 March 2015 08:52 PM

    CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR IN THE COMMITTEE. WHAT IS HIS CREDIBILITY AFTER THE BOND ISSUE

    Eds Friday, 20 March 2015 08:14 AM

    Money Laundering : Investigate Ravi K for his involvement with Convicted fraudster and known LTTE financier Raj Rajaratnam first without poking up the backsides of other people!

    appuhamy Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:39 PM

    Ok. Can we have an interim report on the cases under investigation in 2 weeks ?

    Pradeep Friday, 20 March 2015 09:20 PM

    Kelani Mervin Silva said he has Five houses abroad. Can you please investigate all the foreign assets of all Current and previous Parliament MPs.

    kanga Friday, 20 March 2015 02:04 PM

    It looks as if the crooked minds want them saved.We want them brought to book.!At least we have to start some where. By some comments you could see the corrupt supporters.Irrespective of party they all have to be found . No body in the past robbed billions. Lets start here and get to UNP as well

    Bala Friday, 20 March 2015 08:34 AM

    Why so late for this. Horse bolted with the fodder as well. Delayed till they transferred the assets - may be help for Rajapakses handing over power peacefully. Ranil discussion early morning of January 09 at Temple Treees comes to mind.

    Bala Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:54 PM

    Why was this not done six weeks ago - now the horse has bolted and taken the fodder as well. Also hope not the present Governor of the CB in the SPTF - a mockery otherwise.

    brainmaster Friday, 20 March 2015 02:29 PM

    It will take ages to get hold of these assets . Foreign governments and foreign banks

    brainmaster Friday, 20 March 2015 02:38 PM

    It will take ages to get hold of these assets. Foreign governments and foreign banks ask for proof before they cooperate with you.

    anura Saturday, 21 March 2015 09:15 AM

    First try to investigate this minister called Rajitha. He takes all Srilankans to be fools to believe his stories. He is on the path to fool Sirisena as well.

    Lakshman De Silva Friday, 20 March 2015 08:53 AM

    Thse illegal deposits in offshore banks were from the post 1977 UNP era and billions were then deposited too. Then these Tender agents who made 10% on state deals also are illegal as not declared. The first remedy is to have a amnesty for those to return the funds and after take steps tp sieze. I am aware tht one of the tender agents made 80m USD in the Airbus deal then

    Bandara Menik Friday, 20 March 2015 09:00 AM

    A good idea, but Mahendran, current CB governor must be removed from CB first as he is unfit to hold the position.

    pubudu Friday, 20 March 2015 02:55 PM

    You want their illegal assets and bank accounts, you must arrest and squeeze the culprits first.

    de silva Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:50 PM

    Well done Sir.So something is happening.

    anura Friday, 20 March 2015 03:22 PM

    Yes, minister. Go ahead and catch the real culprits ,without issuing misleading statements to get the political advantage. Dirty ministers who do not have a clean track record of public life is the curse of our mother country. Some bark at others to cover their sins.

    Lima Friday, 20 March 2015 09:13 AM

    YES, IT IS OUR COUNTRY MONEY , NOT RAJAPAKSA MONEY , WHY NOT ARREST RAJAPAKSA FAMLY AND FRONT LINE ROGUES OF CURRENT SLFP , CHAPTER CLOSED , IF DONE SO

    mathew Saturday, 21 March 2015 09:54 AM

    we are waiting to see you all walk the talk

    squash88 Friday, 20 March 2015 12:23 AM

    i think this is a great move....a thorough imvestigation and sufficient evidence should bring these so called government servants back to earth and behind bars.... via DM Android App

    Ganesha Saturday, 21 March 2015 10:12 AM

    Ranil does not have to fulfill the promise to safeguard Rajapakes family because this is concerned with the country and the people. Rajapakesa did not either rule the country according to his promises or fulfill any obligation.

    Gonperera Friday, 20 March 2015 12:40 AM

    All fa..t no sh...t - we are waiting and waiting.... and the 100 days are just about running out

    Sabe Friday, 20 March 2015 09:59 AM

    Heard enough of accusations but none proofed yet. Would like to hear news like " Stolen assets worth million dollars recovered and bought in to Sri Lanka" rather than “We have information that a minimum of US$ 10 billion has been deposited in foreign banks by Sri Lankans". If you have the information act on it and let the public know only the outcome without sensationalizing the "information". That "information" may come from even a bar on the roadside!

    Tilak Ratnasekera Friday, 20 March 2015 12:56 AM

    So even the fraudulant Governor of the Central Bank is a member. Super force who will obtain information from citizens / institutions of other countries. Hane Yako do not play out the general public.Tom Pachaya / Bokku Kata should invariably serve this all powerful committee. The Finance Minister is an ideal person to be the President Hooray for Srilanka.

    hiran Gunawardena Friday, 20 March 2015 01:15 AM

    Well if that is to be done we have to look nack last 30 yrs. Srilanka will be the richest country. So please stop talking gibberish everyone know you are political shopping. It will do much better service if you be quiet and avoid child abduction. via DM Android App

    Bala Friday, 20 March 2015 10:36 AM

    Lakshman De Silva please give this information of USD 80m and evidence to the new committeesapointed recently - otherwise only talk or gossip.

    Desapriya Friday, 20 March 2015 02:10 AM

    How many cases so sar. Let us know what happend to Duminda Silvas bank accounts after CID inquries, And Mrs. Weerawasa after ecovered her helth condition?

    dkp Friday, 20 March 2015 04:53 PM

    Only five billioners in the world find out who is this Billioners fron sri lanka this man is proven Liar

    Nims Friday, 20 March 2015 02:43 AM

    But please the SPTF must consist of educated and honest members - not people like Arjun Mahendran

    SEBA Friday, 20 March 2015 05:16 PM

    Pl. make 10% of any project can be taken as a bribe legally on which Ravi K can charge a reasonable tax. This way we will not waste time on fruitless probes and the (dis)Honourable MPs can make a legal buck.

    kan Friday, 20 March 2015 10:55 AM

    Only Mr.Clean can arrest them, is there any one? Just complaining all the time, no action.

    Azee Friday, 20 March 2015 10:52 AM

    Hope the decision makers i.e. the Ministers Govt. Officials and interrogators (CID Police) would be honest and committed to their tasks and wont make deals via DM Android App

    Fernandez Friday, 20 March 2015 11:02 AM

    Horu calling other people horu.

    silva Friday, 20 March 2015 03:39 AM

    please arrest them.soon via DM Android App


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