‘Sri Lankans figuring in Panama Papers using bogus names’

By Hiran H.Senewiratne

A Central Bank of Sri Lanka official told The Island Financial Review that the CBSL would be investigating all questionable dealings relating to Sri Lankans figuring in the Panama Papers, once a report by a state panel appointed to probe the issue is released during the course of this month. Some of the Sri Lankan names that are in the report are bogus ones and not the real names, he said.

Earlier,Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said, among other things, that the state would investigate "each and every Sri Lankan" whose name comes up when the Panama Papers become public on May 9.

He accused the former government of failing to look into 46 Sri Lankans whose names came up in a 2013 probe known as the Offshore Leaks, launched by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which organization is also behind the Panama Papers disclosure.

"Our panel will look into the names that will come up in the Panama Papers as well as those already named in the Offshore Leaks, Karunanayake told reporters in Colombo.

Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development Eran Wickramaratne earlier said that the names of some Sri Lankan politicians and companies that feature in the Panama Papers will be revealed soon.

Wickramaratne said this 'Panama Papers' exposure may help divulge important information regarding local politicians and their friends and relatives whose accounts were circulated through banks in Seychelles and Dubai, as disclosed by the Anti-Corruption Front earlier.

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