Ex-pres­i­dent’s son held on money-laun­der­ing charge

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A SRI Lankan court re­manded in cus­tody the el­dest son of Sri Lanka’s strong­man for­mer pres­i­dent on a fresh money-laun­der­ing charge.

Na­mal Ra­japakse, who is a leg­is­la­tor from an op­po­si­tion fac­tion loyal to his fa­ther Mahinda Ra­japakse, was re­manded in cus­tody for a week in a hear­ing at a mag­is­trates’ court in the cap­i­tal in Columbo on Au­gust 15.

“The or­der was given in con­nec­tion with a new al­le­ga­tion that he was re­spon­si­ble for laun­der­ing 45 mil­lion ru­pees [US$310,000] through two of his com­pa­nies,” a court of­fi­cial said in Colombo.

It is the sec­ond such ac­cu­sa­tion to be filed against Mr Na­mal, who is also fac­ing sep­a­rate charges that he ac­cepted more than $500,000 from an In­dian com­pany as a kick­back to speed up a prop­erty de­vel­op­ment ven­ture in Colombo.

The for­mer pres­i­dent’s younger son, Yoshitha, is fac­ing sim­i­lar mon­ey­laun­der­ing charges over deal­ings at his pri­vate tele­vi­sion chan­nel.

In April last year, au­thor­i­ties ar­rested Mr Mahinda’s younger brother Basil, who was a min­is­ter.

The ex-pres­i­dent and his rel­a­tives con­trolled nearly 70 per­cent of the bud­get dur­ing his rule, which ended in Jan­uary 2015, when he was de­feated at the polls by Maithri­pala Sirisena.

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