COLOMBO (TIP): Sri Lankan financial crime police arrested the eldest son of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa on August 15 on suspicion of laundering money, his lawyer said, the latest legal difficulty for the once-powerful family. Sri Lanka’s new president, Maithripala Sirisena, faces pressure to act on allegations of corruption dating back to the Rajapaksa era, especially from civil society organisations who backed his successful bid to oust Rajapaksa last year.
The son, Namal Rajapaksa, who is also a member of parliament, had been questioned by officers from the Financial Crimes Investigations Division investigating some money he had invested in two companies, the lawyer said.
“He was arrested by police under the anti-money laundering act. He will be produced before a court in a while,” lawyer Premanath C. Dolawatta told Reuters.
Neither Namal Rajapaksa nor family members were immediately available for comment but they have in the past all publicly denied wrongdoing. It was the second time he had been arrested. In July, he was arrested in connection with a separate case on suspicion of misappropriating of funds in a$650-million apartment project and was released on bail after seven days in detention on remand. (Reuters)