Feb 09, 2020

Airbus bribes : 2 powerful figures to be revealed

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has opened investigations to track the foreign bank accounts maintained by two or three Sri Lankans who have received funds from former SriLankan Airlines CEO Kapila Chandrasena and his wife accused of accepting bribes from Airbus for re-fleeting the airline.

Mr Chandrasena and his wife, Priyanka Wijenayake, were remanded on Thursday until February 19 after they were accused of accepting US$ 2mn (Rs 362mn) out of a total US$ 16.84mn (Rs 3bn) bribe promised in return for ensuring SriLankan bought aircraft from Airbus.

This CID team is due to investigate overseas bank transactions conducted by both Mr Chandrasena and his wife from the period dating back to his time at SriLankan Airlines as the CEO.

The team will request details from foreign banks where the suspects are known to have maintained accounts as part of its investigation, the official added.

Earlier the Attorney General instructed police to obtain warrants for their arrest in relation to accusations that Airbus channeled a USD 2 million bribe to an account maintained in Singapore by a SriLankan executive’s wife who had floated a straw company in Brunei. The information surfaced as part of a court case being heard in the UK.

Senior Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige told courts that it has been revealed that there were transactions through the accounts held by the couple to accounts held overseas by other persons. He said two to three of these persons are currently in Sri Lanka.

He said that Singapore too had begun an investigation and some of the details of it had already been shared with Sri Lanka. It is alleged that two persons in Sri Lanka too have received money from the account of Ms Wijenayake.

However, Sri Lanka Mirror's inquiries revealed that two powerful figures associated with the current government will be revealed at the next hearing.

Source - thesundaytimes.lk