Published : 9:00 am  March 1, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (775) reads | 


BY DARSHANA SANJEEWA Lieutenant Yoshitha Rajapaksa, now in remand custody on charges of money laundering, was yesterday suspended from the Navy on a Defence Ministry directive, the Navy said yesterday.

The ministry had issued the directive on a request by the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) so as to conduct an independent investigation. Navy Spokesman Akram Alavi said Yoshitha’s salary and allowances would be stopped and that he would be debarred from entering any Naval premises without Naval Headquarters approval. The FCID arrested Yoshitha Rajapaksa at the Navy Headquarters on January 30 with regard to alleged financial irregularities at the Carlton Sports Network (CSN). Four others including former CSN chairman Rohan Weliwita, former CEO Nishantha Ranatunga were also remanded in this connection. They were remanded until March 10 on an order of the Kaduwela Magistrate.

The Navy is also reported to have said Yoshitha would be sacked if found guilty of the money laundering charges. The Navy is also conducting two investigations into his unauthorized overseas travel and his involvement in politics while being a naval officer. The Defence Secretary had directed the Navy Commander to investigate how Yoshitha joined the Navy, how he received overseas scholarships, his alleged engagement in active politics and other activities.

He joined the Navy in 2006 as a cadet officer and received his basic training at the Naval and Maritime Academy where he was promoted to Midshipmen and appointed aide-de-camp to his father the then president. He was commissioned in 2009 as an Acting Sub-Lieutenant in the Navy’s Executive Branch.