FCID won’t be dissolved any time soon

Published : 9:14 am  June 16, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (407) reads | 

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BY SANDUN A JAYASEKERA The Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) whose term of office scheduled to expire on June 30, will be extended and the proposed authority to replace it will come into operation after the relevant Act is passed in Parliament, Cabinet Spokesman and Minister Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday.

He said the new authority would have legal teeth to deal successfully in cases of financial crimes. The minister said the FCID was only a temporary measure set up soon after the 2015 presidential election to investigate complaints of financial mismanagement and corruption by the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. He said the proposed authority will be a permanent legal body which would continue the investigations and prosecute the offenders.

The minister told the weekly Cabinet news briefing that the government had no intention of winding up the activities of the FCID as claimed by the JVP and the joint opposition and added that it would cease to function when the new authority was set up. “It will take time because we have to draft the relevant legal provisions, gazette the draft Act and refer it to the Supreme Court. The Bill will be debated in Parliament and amendments introduced before it is approved. Therefore, the winding up of the FCID won’t happen in the next few weeks or months,” he said.

Responding to a journalist on the reappointment of Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran the minister said he was against Mr. Mahendran’s appointment as Central Bank Governor from the very inception and even opposed it in the Cabinet. While admitting that Mr. Mahendran faces many allegations from various quarters, he said he was confident that President Maithripala Sirisena would not extend Mr. Mahendran’s term of office. “He was brought in as Central Bank Governor on the basis that he had developed the Singapore economy which is incorrect. The President will take the appropriate decision,” the minister said.