Airbus bribery suspect sent money to Nimal Perera – State Counsel

Ex-SriLankan CEO Kapila Chandrasena outside courts

ECONOMYNEXT – A sum of US dollars 800,000 was transferred from a Singapore bank account belonging to Priyanka Neomali Wijenayake to Don Nimal Hemasiri Perera in Sri Lanka, the Fort Magistrate’s Court heard Thursday.

Wijenayake and her husband former Chief Executive of SriLankan Airlines Kapila Chandrasena are accused of money-laundering centred on an alleged bribe paid to them by Airbus for SriLankan to purchase passenger aircraft from the France-based company.

The alleged graft was revealed in a global investigation of corrupt practices by Airbus carried out by the UK authorities.

Additional Solicitor-General Thusitha Mudalige appearing for the state also informed the court that Nimal Perera’s name has come up in the alleged money-laundering case against MP Namal Rajapaksa (B195/16) being heard in the same court presided over by Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake.

Chandrasena and Wijenayake were produced in court by the Prison Authorities as they are currently in Remand custody.

Anuja Premaratne PC along with Shenal Matugama, Kaushalya Rajapaksha, Yasas Ekanayake, Attorney-at-Law Nalin Ladduwahetty with Kavithri Ubeysekara appeared for the accused.

ASG Mudalige told the court that investigations are underway regarding the transfer for US dollars two million to an account operated by Wijenayake under her company called Biz Solutions and the subsequent transfer of funds from that account to various banks in Sri Lanka.

The two-million-dollar transfer was carried out on Dec 27, 2013 and two transfers of Rs.400,000 each had been done to accounts in Sri Lanka, court heard.

Police are also investigating the transfer of Euro 160,000 to an account in Sri Lanka, from Wijenayake’s account the state counsel said.

At this stage Magistrate Dissanayake asked counsel whether there was any interference into the investigations by outside parties and state counsel said that there were none.

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Attorneys Premaratne and Ladduwahetty applied for bail for the two accused, but the Magistrate refused and further remanded them until March 4. (Colombo, February 20, 2020)

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