COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s Deputy Economic Development Minister Harsha de Silva asked the island’s bribery commission to probe the expropriation and alleged sale at a knock down price of a high rise that was to house a Hyatt hotel.
The building, whose construction was started by a collapsed Ceylinco group was expropriated by a controversial law by the recently ousted Rajapaksa regime.
De Silva who visited the premises with reporters Wednesday said there was information that the half constructed property was sold to a company called Sino Lanka for 350 million rupees, which was a fraction of its value, and he wanted the corruption commission to probe it.
The allegation was that there were offers to buy it at a higher price but it was given to the present owners at a low price, he said.
He said he had file full of documents to be given to corruption sleuths.
De Silva said he also wanted the corruption commission to probe whether moneys from the Employees Provident Fund and Employees Trust Fund, were used to re-start the construction of the building.
De Silva told who met workers who were constructing the building asked who was paying them. The workers said originally the contractors were paid by the Ceylinco group but after it was resumed, Sino Lanka was in charge.
Sino Lanka had an office in Litro Gas, a cooking gas company that was bought back from Shell by the Rajapaksa administration, he was told.