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Seychelles to assist SL’s probe on Rajapaksa

23 January 2015 07:18 am - 18     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The government of Seychelles has said it will assist with all formal requests for an investigation into the assets of Sri Lanka’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Seychelles Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said this in a press statement released yesterday after reports surfaced recently in the Sri Lankan media that the country’s newly-inaugurated President Maithripala Sirisena’s government would be pursuing an investigation against former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, in connection with allegations of stolen assets hidden in the Seychelles.
According to a Sri Lankan media reports that Deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Harsha de Silva, accused the Seychelles of being a “safe haven” for stolen assets as well as a “money laundering hub”, allegations which the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean Paul Adam, has refuted.
“The allegations made against our financial services sector are unfounded,” said the Minister, who said that Seychelles’ priority was to continue to build on the partnership between the two Indian Ocean island nations.
The minister has said that any foreign investments in Seychelles made by Sri Lankans could be verified under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement signed between the two countries, which included a standard Tax Information Exchange Component.
There are around 140,000 international business companies (IBCs) in Seychelles' offshore sector, compared to just 650 companies when the Indian Ocean island state launched its offshore business in 1996.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) had raised concerns in 2013 regarding Seychelles jurisdiction in terms of tax transparency rules, along with Switzerland and Cyprus.
Seychelles authorities have, as a response to these concerns, passed legislation governing its growing offshore financial sector in an effort to prevent money laundering activities. The National Assembly passed amendments and new sections to its 1994 International Business Companies Act to meet the standards and recommendations of the OECD, and a regulatory body, called the Financial Services Agency (FSA) was also set up in 2014 to oversee corporate services providers, securities exchange, insurance and other businesses related to international financial services.
The Bank of Ceylon also opened a branch in the Seychelles capital of Victoria, and the Sri Lankan airline, Mihin Lanka, commenced flights between the two countries. Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Seychelles last year to open the Sri Lankan High Commission in Seychelles, and Seychelles opened its own High Commission in Sri Lanka in reciprocation. 
According to Minister Adam, all of these achievements are of immense benefit to both nations, and go ‘beyond politics’.
"There are so many areas where mutually beneficial partnerships have been formed - from the boats being built by Seychellois in Sri Lankan shipyards to the emergence of Sri Lanka as one of the preferred destinations for Seychellois for tourism, including medical tourism. These ties go beyond politics,” said the minister in his statement.
Yesterday, Minister Adam met with the resident Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the Seychelles, Rajatha Piyatissa to address these concerns, to which the high commissioner responded that both nations shared “a mutually beneficial partnership across a variety of fields that should be fostered.”
Seychelles is a signatory member of a number of international conventions dealing primarily with organised crime, as well as being a  member of the Egmont Group, the network of financial intelligence units, while also engaging with the Stolen Assets Recovery (STAR) program of the World Bank in cases of abuses of Seychelles’ financial services sector.(Seychelles News Agency)
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  Comments - 18

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  • K. C. John Saturday, 24 January 2015 10:59 AM

    He also opened an embassy and a branch of the BoC there.

    SAM THE MAN Saturday, 24 January 2015 02:22 AM

    TRESURE !!! BABY TREAUSRE

    Gihan perera Friday, 23 January 2015 02:29 PM

    As a friendly nation, your corporation highly appropriated!

    Calistus Jayatilleke Saturday, 24 January 2015 06:40 PM

    Anyway, it is an open secret as to why MR and company paid an official visit to Seychelles and opened a branch of Bank of Ceylon there: all on public account in order to stash his ill-gotten wealth. The new government should get all the relevant details and put the culprit in jail.

    N V Jen Saturday, 24 January 2015 12:02 PM

    Probe the ownership of Marriot Hotel in Al Jadaf, Dubai, UAE. More beans will be spilled.

    quintus perera Saturday, 24 January 2015 12:27 PM

    Foreign Exchange is welcome to any country.But money laundering should not be allowed. If anything happened in this regard the authorities of the country should be responsible. Sri Lankan Govt. should investigate with the authorities in Seychelles. Our Mother land is Sovereign state. Corrupted politicians can not destroy this country. We should continue our trade links with Seychelles and develop the mutual relationship with both countries. Quintus

    Bala Friday, 23 January 2015 03:22 PM

    Yes let us clear all doubts instead of just accusing without tangible proof. That is best for all concerned - Seychelles, Sri Lanka

    shamon Friday, 23 January 2015 03:22 PM

    New Govt. is making a correct move. via DM Android App

    Cheers Friday, 23 January 2015 03:38 PM

    Seychelle beggers where the hell is your country on the map

    kalma Friday, 23 January 2015 03:58 PM

    Can he confirm that there is nothing to probe?

    Nande Saturday, 24 January 2015 02:18 PM

    CheersSeychelles is a good place with honest president.I have been there twice. via DM Android App

    Cobra Saturday, 24 January 2015 08:28 AM

    Some prominent figures may be hiding there!

    Chandra Saturday, 24 January 2015 02:55 PM

    Somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Several small islands one sold/donated to Rajapaksa.Their investigators are a joke. Investigating money laundering - a big joke. Send in our investigators before evidence disappears.

    Nihal Amarasekera Saturday, 24 January 2015 09:32 AM

    If I can remember right they voted against SL @ UNHR. Queer.

    glenniefernando Friday, 23 January 2015 01:22 PM

    good news, in deed.

    Horri Jimonis Friday, 23 January 2015 01:28 PM

    That is fine and sounds well. Whoever, who can bring Rajapakshe

    Simple mind Friday, 23 January 2015 05:53 PM

    @Cheers. Go ask MR coz he vi visited this place.

    K. C. John Saturday, 24 January 2015 10:57 AM

    Hope it is not lip service only!


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