Sri Lanka tracking US$2bn hidden during last regime in Dubai: Minister
COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka has found three bank accounts in a Dubai bank belonging to a ‘leading family’ connected to the former regime which had two billion US dollars in hidden assets, cabinet spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.
"We have learned that some of the money has been withdrawn after the election was lost," Senaratne told reporter in Colombo.
He said accounts were found in Dubai National Bank.
One family member had 1.046 billion dollars. A 600 million dollars had been withdrawn by a family member and another 200 million had been withdrawn by "broker who bought deals," he said.
Another legislator had over 500 million dollars in an account, he said. A secretary "to very important people" had a joint account with another person "famous for corruption" had another account with 500 million US dollars, he said.
Senaratne said they had information on an estimated 10 billion dollars of assets, which was higher than the country’s foreign reserves being held outside the country.
Assistance was being sought from US and Indian authorities to track down assets he said.
A task force to "investigate, identify, trace, seize and transfer" to Sri Lanka "state assets and revenue" due to the Sri Lanka Government, "unlawfully acquired or procured" by Sri Lankan nationals and nominees and kept outside the country will be set up, he said.