Rs.1.3 bn in kickbacks acquired  by some govt. members – Mangala

Deposited in foreign banks since 2005


by Zacki Jabbar

Over Rs.1.3 billion in kickbacks received by some powerful personalities in the government had been deposited with several banks abroad over the last eight years,UNP MP Mangala Samraweera alleged yesterday.

He told a news conference in Colombo that they including leading politicians had benefitted from the illegal commissions they had extracted from various projects undertaken by the government.

"The Hambantota and Trincomalee ports and Hambantota oil tank were some of the projects from which the kickbacks had been obtained, MP Samaraweera alleged.

The Central Bank was planning to bring down coins weighing nearly 20,000 kilos found in tills at religious places of worship in India to the tune of Rs. 2.3 billion,t he MP noted. "If the Central Bank is so bankrupt, it should seek the assistance of the World Banks Stolen Asset Recovery (STAR) Unit to recover the illegal commissions lying to the credit of corrupt ruling party politicians in banks abroad without breaking open tills or forcing open drawers belonging to the public which Sri Lankan culture did not encourage."

While the country’s wealth was being plundered by a select few, the masses were being taxed regularly causing the cost of living to skyrocket, Samaraweera said.

He said that the magnitude of corruption that existed at the highest levels was reflected by the fact that national debt which was Rs. 1.8 trillion in 2005 after 57 years of independence had zoomed to Rs.6.6 trillion by the end of 2013.

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