Forex Case : Ravi K. Acquitted

Published : 9:06 am  May 19, 2015 | No comments so far |  |  (777) reads | 

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Colombo High Court Judge Iranganie Perera yesterday acquitted Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and two others on charges of money laundering and the violation of the Exchange Control Act.   She said the charges had not been framed in compliance with the Exchange Control Act.

Judge Perera acquitted the three suspects after hearing the submissions made by the prosecuting counsel Deleepa Pieris and defence counsel Kolitha Dharmawardana PC who appeared for Mr. Karunanayake.
Mr. Pieris said the defence did not have any status to take up objections at this stage of the trial. He said the defence should submit any objections at the inception of the hearing, or after the prosecution closes its case or at the adjudication of the hearing before judgement is delivered.

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However, the defence counsel said the case was first taken up for hearing in 2009 though the transaction had taken place in 2006. He said until 2009 no action was taken by the prosecution and said the charges filed in the indictment were not in compliance with the Exchange Control Act and as such pleaded that his client be acquited.

The Attorney General indicted Nexia Corporation, Linton Sirisoma and Ravi Karunanayake on charges of money laundering by violating the regulations of the Central Bank and the Exchange Control Act. They were charged with depositing three million US dollars in an account at Standard Chartered Bank which were then used to purchase shares in the Union Bank with the intention of laundering the money.

Mr. Karunanayake was charged with aiding and abetting a non-resident Sri Lankan known as Raj Rajaratnam of Galion Investments International, and Master Prime Establishment to deposit the three million US dollars at the Standard Chartered Bank Branch in Kirillapana without the authority of the Central Bank.

The other accused Nexia Corporation Services Limited and Linton Sirisoma were indicted on charges of not following the usual procedure when carrying out a transaction via the Sierra account and for depositing these funds in the Standard Chartered Bank.

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Senior State Counsel Dileepa Pieris with Nayomi Wijesinghe prosecuted while Counsel Kolitha Dharmawardena PC, Anil Silva PC, Rasika Balasuriya and Shan Senanayake instructed by G.G. Arulpragasam appeared for Mr. Karunanayake and Ananda Wijesekera PC with Sudath Jayasundera instructed by K. Ganshayogan appeared for Nexia Corporation and Linton Sirisoma.
Counsel Heshan Hewawithana instructed by Sudath Perera Associates appeared for the bank.