Money laundering case hearing against Sajin Vass today | Daily News


Money laundering case hearing against Sajin Vass today

Former UPFA MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena was further remanded till today over the alleged intimidation of witnesses in a money laundering case by the Colombo High Court.

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

It will be taken up for further trial today.

MP Gunawardena has been indicted by the Attorney General (AG) for money laundering amounting to over Rs.306.26 million, under Section 3 [1] [a] of the Money Laundering Act No. 5 of 2006 as amended by the Act No 40 of 2011.

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

According to the Attorney General, the scam was unearthed during an investigation by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on a complaint they received on February 2, 2015.

The investigation has revealed that Gunawardena has owned a group of companies called ‘COSMOS’ which had 21 companies at the time he gave nominations to contest the parliamentary election 2010.

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

On paper he had distanced himself from those companies, but the investigation revealed that he had made suspicious transactions using 7 of the 21 companies.

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

The bank details of the accounts that were maintained in the name of those companies had reflected these deposits. Gunawardena used to withdraw cash from those same companies though he had not had any legal bearing to do so as he has rescinded his ownership and directorship of those companies, evidence revealed. 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. Many of those deposits were made during his tenure as an MP in the 14th Parliament, the release said.

The deficit between all 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 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 Parliament in 2010 to 2015.


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