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Pyramid schemes a crime not a business: Siyambalapitiya

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Action will be taken under the criminal law against the institutions and individuals who operate pyramid schemes, State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said.

State Minister Siyambalapitiya said that pyramid schemes are not a business but a crime.

He expressed these views while speaking to the media after a programme held in Dehiowita.

Commenting further, he said that the Central Bank has prohibited this crime in accordance with the Banking Act No. 30 of 1988 and that action can be taken under the criminal law.

“Accordingly, the Attorney General will be informed and the complaints in this regard will be forwarded to the police and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and cases will be filed against these fraudulent companies and the persons who led them under the criminal law,” he said.

He said that a large number of people in the society have fallen prey to these smugglers since they only focus on temporary benefits despite the warnings issued by the Central Bank.

LPL winning Kandy team owners, B-Love, alleged of pyramids schemes

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe recently said in Parliament that the Lanka Premier League (LPL) tournament was a gambling den.

He said that the sponsor of the B-Love Kandy team that won the LPL championship is a company that promotes cryptocurrency which is prohibited under the laws of Sri Lanka.

The Minister of Justice disclosed about 15 betting websites that played a major role in the LPL tournament, which was held without the Sport Minister’s approval.

It was also revealed that SKYFAIR, which sponsored the titles of the tournament, was an illegal offshore betting website.

“In the LPL tournament, many programmes were held especially to promote the cryptocurrency system. The titles of the T20 franchise were sponsored by an illegal offshore betting site called SKYFAIR.”

“These sites are prohibited according to our laws. This tournament has been used to promote illegal acts. Many sponsors operate illegal betting sites. Fifteen such institutions have been identified. They are; Skyfair.News, 1xBet 1XBook, Crickets In, Kheloyar News, Babu88, SAT sport, Wolf 777, Tiger ESCH, BA Fry Coin and MTFE.”

“All these institutions are engaged in betting business or promoting cryptocurrency transactions. The winning Kandy team has also been sponsored by a cryptocurrency company called ‘Be Love’ which is a banned institution,”

The minister has a responsibility to find out whether these actions taken by Sri Lanka Cricket are illegal. And then… steps should be taken to correct them,” he said.

A Constitutional Responsibility

“The Article 108 of the Anti-Corruption Act has been newly introduced. The MPs passed the law to make giving bribes, tips and accepting them in sports as an offence punishable with seven years imprisonment and a fine of not more than Rs.1 million. This is Act No. 09 of 2023.”

“Article 109 of the Act is also related to this. Under that article, not only the SLC but also any person should explain how they have amassed wealth.”

“The minister should make that explanation. If such an explanation cannot be made, action should be taken after considering this as an offence subject to punishments.”

“The minister has the authority and he should use it. Get these proposals approved by the Cabinet. We will prepare the Bill within two weeks,” Minister Rajapakshe said.

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Sri Lanka Railways GM passes away

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Sri Lanka Railways General Manager H. M. K. W. Bandara passed away today (23) due to a sudden illness.

He  was appointed as the railways chief in November 2023.

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Chinese communist party vice minister Sun Haiyan visits Sri Lanka

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Vice Minister of the International Department of the Chinese Communist Party, Sun Haiyan, is set to arrive in Sri Lanka today for a two-day official visit, as reported by The Thinakaran Newspaper.

During her visit, Sun Haiyan is scheduled to engage in discussions with high-ranking government officials, including President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

The discussions are anticipated to cover various bilateral matters of mutual interest between China and Sri Lanka.

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Two killed in police shooting following failed checkpoint stop

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Two people died in police fire on Tuesday (23) morning.

The Police Media Division said that officers opened fire at a three wheeler that failed to comply with orders to stop at a checkpoint near the Meegoda – Delketiya junction.

The incident took place at around 1:50 AM.

Sri Lanka Police said that after officers ordered the three wheeler to stop, the driver had slowed down the vehicle, and those inside had opened fire at the police and fled to Moragahahena.

Accordingly, the Moragahahena Police was immediately informed of the shooting.

A group of officers from the Colombo South Crimes Division who were at the Moragahahena Police for a separate inquiry upon hearing the incident had attempted to stop the three wheeler from fleeing.

The three wheeler that continued to disregard orders to stop had proceeded to the Tyre Factory located along the Meepe Road in Moragahahena, where shots were fired at them by officers from the Colombo South Crimes Division.

Sri Lanka Police said two people who were injured in the shooting succumbed to their injuries upon admission to hospital.

Another person who was in the three wheeler had fled the scene.

The deceased were 42 and 35 year old males from Thanamalvila.

Police said a firearm was also recovered from the three wheeler’

(newsfirst.lk)

(Except for the headline, this story, originally published by newsfirst.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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