Sajin Vass money laundering case trial on February 25 | Daily News


Sajin Vass money laundering case trial on February 25

The case filed against former UPFA MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena over a money laundering charge was yesterday fixed for trial on February 25 by Colombo High Court.

The case was taken up before the Colombo High Court Judge Gihan Kulathunga.

At a previous hearing, indictment was handed over to the accused and he was released on a cash bail of Rs. 500,000 and two sureties of Rs. 5 million.

Vass Gunawardena was indicted by the Attorney General (AG) for laundering Rs.306.26 million, under Section 3 [1] [a]  of the Money Laundering Act No 05 of 2006 as amended by Act No 40 of 2011.

The AG’s Coordinating Officer said the scam was unearthed during an investigation conducted by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on a complaint received on 02.02.2015.

The CID investigation had revealed that Sajin de Vass Gunawardena owned several companies under the name ‘COSMOS’ which had 21 companies at the time he gave nominations to contest the2010 Parliamentary election.

Though he has resigned from the directorship of all those companies and transferred his shares to his wife before he became a member of the 14th Parliament, the evidence had revealed that he has effectively run the full operation of those companies even after he became an MP.

Though on paper he had distanced himself from those companies, the CID investigation revealed that Gunawardena has made suspicious transactions using 7 out of the 21 companies.

He has allegedly deposited over Rs.458.73 million in this manner in the accounts of those companies. Evidence was disclosed that Gunawardena used to bring monies in cash and asked to deposit the same in an account of a company named by him.

The bank details of the accounts maintained in the name of those companies have reflected these deposits. It has been further revealed that Gunawardena used to withdraw cash from those same companies though he had not had any legal bearing to do so as he had rescinded his ownership and directorship of those companies.

Investigators found that neither Gunawardena nor his wife in their own admission have such a known income comparable to the vast sums of money he has made as deposits in those companies. It is pertinent to note that much of those deposits were made during his tenure as an MP in the 14th Parliament, the release said.

The deficit between all of those deposits and his and his wife’s income including company drawings he has made illegally, has been identified as Rs.306,268,194.76.

The AG’s Department earlier said that former MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena has failed to explain how he earned such an income to make those deposits especially in a time during which he acted as an elected Member of the Parliament in 2010 to 2015.


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