COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lankan police Saturday arrested Saliya Wickramasuriya, former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA), over alleged fraud in use of tsunami rebuilding funds.
Police spokesman Assistant Superintendent of Police Ruwan Gunasekara said Wickramasuriya was arrested under the public property act.
“He was arrested by the Special Investigating Unit operating in police headquarters which is conducting further investigations,” he told EconomyNext.com.
“It is alleged that 169 million rupees in government funds have been cheated through the RADA which was formed by member of parliament Tiran Alles and Wickramasuriya.”
Wickramasuriya was remanded until May 12 after being produced before the Acting Colombo Fort Magistrate, Gunasekara said.
Asked if Alles has also been arrested the police spokesman said “not yet.”
Alles was the former chairman of RADA which functioned directly under former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was ousted in the January 2015 presidential poll.
The RADA was in charge of reconstruction projects after the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which hit Sri Lanka’s eastern and southern coasts.
Wickramasuriya, who is now the director general of the Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat in charge of exploiting oil and gas deposits, was not immediately available for comment.