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Sri Lanka sleuths to probe illegal money transfers to Seychelles: report

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – A team of investigators from Sri Lanka will visit Seychelles for talks with officials to find details of fund transfers made during the administration of ousted President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a media report said. Sri Lanka’s The Sunday Times newspaper quoted Finance Minister Ravi Karunayake as saying that a team from his ministry would visit Seychelles to have discussion with authorities there about funds illegally transferred from Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan authorities were also probing why a branch of state-run Bank of Ceylon was set up in Seychelles in 2011, the report said. The minister had said authorities were also looking at reports of cargo that had been airlifted to Seychelles. Mihin Lanka, a loss-making state-airline set up by ex-President Rajapaksa flies to the island. The newspaper said the Financial Crimes Investigations Division of Sri Lanka Police had begun to probe funds transfers to Seychelles. A World Bank team was also helping investigate money laundering. Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said last month that several accounts belonging to persons connected to the Rajapaksa administration had been discovered in Dubai and some of the funds had then been moved to other locations.