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Pandora Papers report reaches Prez Secretariat

17 Jul 2022

  • CIABOC handed over report to President last month
  • Says certain matters referred to CID for further inquiry
– By Shenal Fernando The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) has handed over its report regarding the allegations against Nirupama Rajapaksa and her husband Thirukumar Nadesan – both of whom were implicated in the Pandora Papers file leak – to the Presidential Secretariat. Speaking to The Sunday Morning Business, CIABOC Director of Investigation Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Nuwan Asanka stated that the CIABOC had sent the report to the Presidential Secretariat last month to update the President on the progress of its investigation regarding the allegations against Rajapaksa and Nadesan, who were implicated in the Pandora Papers file leak in connection with several suspicious transactions, including the maintenance of large cash deposits. He further stated that the allegations involving subject matters outside CIABOC’s scope of authority had been referred to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for further inquiry. “Our investigations have not been completed and we are still carrying out certain investigations on certain subject matters that fall within the purview of our authority. The CID has been informed to carry out its own inquiries into other subject matters which do not fall under the purview of our authority. The report requested by the President to update him on the investigation was sent to the Presidential Secretariat last month.” In October last year, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed the CIABOC to launch an investigation and to subsequently deliver a report within one month on the Sri Lankans implicated in the Pandora Papers file leak by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), after the name of Nirupama Rajapaksa – the cousin of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa – and that of her husband Thirukumar Nadesan appeared in it. The documents allege the couple’s involvement in shell companies (inactive companies used as vehicles for various financial manoeuvres or kept dormant for future use in some other capacity) located in tax havens, which had obtained lucrative consulting contracts from foreign companies doing business with the Government of Sri Lanka. The papers said that in confidential emails to Asiaciti Trust, a Singapore-based offshore services provider, a longtime adviser of Nadesan’s had put his overall wealth as of 2011 at more than $ 160 million. However, ICIJ couldn’t independently verify the figure. Thereafter, an Interim Report was submitted by the CIABOC to the President in November 2021, and CIABOC Director General Kanishka Wijeratne informed that the various banks and financial institutions had been requested to submit reports containing Thirukumar Nadesan’s bank account details and that this information was in the process of being received.

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