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Court bans 8 accounts of an American financial company

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Colombo Chief Magistrate Prasanna Alwis yesterday (19) ordered an American company named ‘Binance.com’, which had invested in OnmaxDT Pvt. Company accused of earning USD 100 million through illegal pyramid schemes, to freeze eight accounts of the company.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) informed the court that according to the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, this is the first time that a Sri Lankan court has issued an order to an American financial institution.

It was revealed that more than Rs.430 million rupees have been deposited in eight accounts of the American financial company ‘Binance.com’, and accordingly, the CID requested an order to suspend the transactions of those eight accounts for a period of six months from yesterday (19).

Accordingly, the eight suspended accounts are Onmax DT Private Limited (Sri Lanka), Onmax Pty Ltd. Company (Australia), the account established in the name of Sri Lankans Dhananjaya Gayan, Sampath Sandaruwan Lenaduwage, Saranga Randika Jayatissa (two accounts), Vikramapeli Gedera Chandrakanti and Kahadawa Arachchige Athula Indika Sampath.

Earlier, the Magistrate imposed a travel ban on six directors of the Onmax DT, Sampath Sandaruwan, Athula Indika Sampath, Gayashan Abeyratne, Madhuranga Prasanna, Saranga Randika, and Dhananjaya Jayan.

The CID informed the court that statements were recorded from two persons regarding two accounts of Onmax.

The CID also requested the court to issue an order to submit the mobile phones and computers of the two persons to the Computer Emergency Readiness Team to inspect the accounts. Accordingly, the Magistrate issued the order.

On the 28th, orders were issued by the court to freeze 57 bank accounts under the name of the company in Bank of Ceylon, Central Finance, Nations Trust, Seylan Bank and People’s Trust banks.

According to a complaint made by the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the facts regarding this incident were reported to the court by the Financial Crimes Investigation Unit of the CID.

The CID informed the court that by registering a company as ‘Onmax DT’ private company and conducting illegal pyramid transactions through that company, more than 100 million US dollars had been transacted in Crypto Currency Wallets.

The CID reported to the court that the owners of the company have committed a punishable offence under Section 83 A (1) of the Banking Act and Section 3 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

(Lankadeepa)

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“14.3% Surge in new HIV infections in 2023, reveals national program”

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The National Sexually Transmitted Diseases and AIDS Prevention Program states that the reporting of new HIV infections has increased by 14.3 percent.

This is higher in 2023 compared to 2022, director, Dr. Janaki Vidanapathirana, community medicine specialist said.
She said that last year, 694 new HIV infected people were identified, most of them were men, and the number is 611, which as percentage is 88%. Last year, 81 HIV infected women were reported, which is 11.7 percent as a percentage. It is also
reported that there are 4100 infected people in society.

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Sri Lanka to Host Digital Economy Summit in July

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The State Minister for Technology, Mr. Kanaka Herath, announced that the anticipated National Cyber Security Act will be introduced this year, followed by the establishment of the Cyber Security Authority.

Additionally, the State Minister underscored the preparations made for the Digital Economy Summit scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka by the end of July. The summit serves as a platform for fostering innovation, collaboration, and investment in digital technologies, thus propelling the country towards a more resilient and prosperous digital economy.

Speaking at a press briefing titled “Collective Path to a Stable Country” held at the President Media Centre (PMC) today (29),

State Minister Herath further said;

The digital economy, which previously stood at 4.73%, has now surpassed the 5% mark, indicating significant growth.

This expansion has notably bolstered the country’s overall economic resilience. To further enhance this momentum, preparations are underway for the Digital Economy Summit scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka at the end of July. The summit aims to attract both local and foreign investors, with collaborative efforts from foreign embassies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Investment Promotion facilitating this initiative.

Furthermore, a sum of Rs. 50 million derived from the profits of Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) was allocated to the treasury in the previous year. In line with President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s proposal, a new initiative has been launched to uplift small and medium-sized industrialists, who constitute 52% of the country’s economy. This endeavour seeks to empower such enterprises technologically, offering them Good manufacturing practice (GMP) and SLSI certifications. Additionally, plans are underway to facilitate access to low-interest loans through the Asian Development Bank (ADB), with the ultimate goal of guiding these small and medium-sized industrialists into the market.

(dailynews.lk)

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SC quashes Cabinet decision granting Paget Road residence to Maithripala

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The Supreme Court on Thursday (29 Feb.) quashed the Cabinet decision allowing former President Maithripala Sirisena to occupy his official residence at Paget Road in Colombo 07 even after he left office.

Accordingly, the court stated that an order will be issued invalidating the Cabinet decision taken on 15 October 2019 in this regard.

The relevant court order was issued by Supreme Court Justice Priyantha Jayawardena, with the concurrence of Justices Gamini Amarasekera and Kumudini Wickremasinghe, upon consideration of a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu.

The petition further sought a court order stating that former President Sirisena had violated several fundamental rights of the public by taking decisions pertaining to his own privileges and rights during his tenure as the President, thereby making him the head of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Announcing the verdict, Supreme Court Justice Priyantha Jayawardena highlighted that the relevant Cabinet decision made by Sirisena was, in fact, unlawful, given that he was both, the President and the head of the Cabinet of Ministers at the time the decision in question was taken.

In their petition, the CPA and Dr. Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu claimed that the residence in question is of great financial value to the country, and thereby stated that such an allocation for a former President was irrational, illegal and arbitrary, and also violated several fundamental rights of the country’s citizens including that of the right to equality.

(adaderana.lk)

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