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NZ grants refugee status for man over Easter bombings funding accusations

14 September 2021 08:38 am - 10     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A man who may have unknowingly helped funnel money to terrorists behind the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka has been granted refugee status in New Zealand.

The Immigration and Protection Tribunal found the man was not involved in supporting terrorist goals and did not know who the money went to or came from.

It heard he carried out several transactions a month in a money transfer scheme involving his mother-in-law overseas and a foreign broker.

His Tamilian wife was arrested and beaten after the 2019 bombings as police tried to find him. She was released after a bribe was paid, and the couple went into hiding.

They flew to New Zealand on false passports, and were granted refugee status in June on appeal.

The tribunal ruled their evidence was "credible, consistent and compelling".

"Both the wife and the husband fear harm at the hands of the Sri Lankan authorities because the husband has been associated with a money transfer scheme which the authorities believe may have been connected to people involved in the Easter 2019 terrorist attacks.

"The tribunal is satisfied that the husband was not involved in the scheme to support Islamist terrorist goals or views, nor is he aware if any money he deposited went to, or came from, people who may have supported such views.

"Given the ongoing pressure the government faces to prosecute those responsible for funding and carrying out the attacks, it cannot be assumed that the authorities will not use torture and mistreatment to extract from the husband a confession or information that he does not genuinely hold."

The husband's knowledge of the money transfer business in which he was involved was "rudimentary", it said. He was not a broker but a courier who retrieved the cash from brokers in Colombo and deposited it at banks, with account details given to him by a foreign broker via his mother-in-law.

It was a side business that lasted almost a year but the authorities saw him as a traitor, he told the tribunal.

"Although the husband is Sinhalese, [the overseas] broker was a Sri Lankan Muslim, and the fact that the wife's sister is married to a Muslim may have also raised flags for the authorities.

"Based on what the police told his wife, the authorities believe that he has helped finance terrorists involved in the Easter bombings. The husband thinks it might be possible that some of the accounts into which he deposited money were somehow linked to people involved in the attacks, but he has no idea about this nor does he have known connection to anyone associated with the attacks." (Radio New Zealand)

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  • Srilankan Tuesday, 14 September 2021 12:12 PM

    There is always a story.

    dot Tuesday, 14 September 2021 12:15 PM

    So New Zealand has probed into another aspect of the plot , that led to the killing of the innocents on Easter Sunday .Will this clue be followed up and more revealed .

    Truth matter Tuesday, 14 September 2021 12:16 PM

    Let them deal with it . Justice in New Zealand is better than here

    Gayan Tuesday, 14 September 2021 12:25 PM

    We are happy to see that these terrorists are moving to another country. One less problem.

    Saranga DS Tuesday, 14 September 2021 12:55 PM

    Let's hope SL authorities got details about the foreign broker, and the overseas Sri Lankan Muslim sending funds; especially if funds are associated with Easter bombings!

    Easyrajah mohan Tuesday, 14 September 2021 12:56 PM

    Hi

    Seb Tuesday, 14 September 2021 12:58 PM

    Yeah and next year they will try to deport him and in 5 years history may repeat itself in NZ

    Geronimo Tuesday, 14 September 2021 12:58 PM

    Surprising that New Zealand would not be more cautious about entry into their country of such individuals, especially due to recent terrorist stabbing events involving another Sri Lankan given refugee status!

    Mm Tuesday, 14 September 2021 01:06 PM

    Looks like NZ is getting duped big time! If we want to go visit NZ I’m the proper channel we have to show a hundred documents and proof that we won’t run off and hide there. But NZ seem to feel sorry for fake people and pat them on the back and accept them. I suppose that man has no religion or race but how Conviniet he has a Country but when caught they are Sri Lankan and not NZ

    Ralaharamy Tuesday, 14 September 2021 04:32 PM

    All these days, it was Muslim terrorists and Army intelligence. Now a clue is coming of a Sinhalese husband and Tamil wife who paid money. All the races are involved now to bomb innocent Catholics. Will there be a Catholic or Buddhist priest? More confusion.


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