Court grants permission to examine the bank accounts of former Ministry secretary and his family

A Sri Lankan court Thursday (19) granted the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) permission to examine the banks accounts of a former ministry secretary and his family in connection with misusing of state funds.

Considering a request from the FCID, Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne granted permission to check the banks accounts of former Secretary to the Port and highways Ministry Ranjith Premasiri and his family and the computer he had used.

The former official is charged with misusing state funds amounting to US$ 15 million when two ships were purchased for the State Shipping Corporation.

The fraud was revealed during an audit of the assets of the Shipping Corporation in 2017. The actual value of the two ships has been revealed during a valuation of the two ships was carried out by CW Kellock & Co in England, the FCID informed the court.

According to the valuation by the company, the two ships were valued at US$ 20 million. However an FCID investigation has found that US$ 35 million have been spent to purchase the two ships, court was told.

The FCID the court that the government has lost US$ 15 million from the transaction and it is not known what happened to the money. The FCID pointed out the bank accounts of the official and the family need to be examined to find how the funds were misappropriated.

The Magistrate ordered the FCID to investigate and report to the court.

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