Sajin Vass’ money laundering case trial on March 1 | Daily News

Sajin Vass’ money laundering case trial on March 1

The case filed against former UPFA MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena over money laundering charges amounting to over Rs.300 million was yesterday fixed for further trial on March 1 by the Colombo High Court.

The case was taken up before Colombo High Court Judge Damith Thotawatta. Sajin de Vass Gunawardena was indicted by the Attorney General (AG) on charges of money laundering amounting to over Rs.306.26 million, under Section 3 [1] [a] of Money Laundering Act No 05 of 2006 as amended by Act No 40 of 2011.

At a previous hearing, he was given Indictment and was released on a cash bail of Rs. 500,000 and two sureties of Rs. 5 million.

According to the Attorney General, the scam was unearthed during an investigation conducted by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on a complaint received on February 2, 2015.

The CID investigation had revealed that Sajin de Vass Gunawardena owned a group of companies under the name of ‘COSMOS’ which had 21 companies at the time he gave nominations to contest the Parliamentary election in 2010.

Though he had resigned from the directorship of all those companies and transferred his shares to his wife before he became an MP, evidence revealed that he has effectively run the full operation of those companies even after he became an MP.

Though on paper he had distanced himself from those companies, CID investigations revealed that Gunawardena has made suspicious transactions in seven out of the 21 companies.

He has allegedly deposited over Rs.458.73 million in this manner in the accounts of those companies. Evidence was disclosed that Gunawardena used to bring money in cash and asked to deposit the same in an account of a company named by him.

Investigators found that neither Gunawardena nor his wife in their own admission have such a known income comparable to the vast sums of money he has made as deposits in those companies. It is pertinent to note that much of those deposits were made during his tenure as an MP in the 14th Parliament, the release said.

The deficit between all of those deposits and his and his wife’s income including company drawings he has made illegally, has been identified as Rs.306,268,194.76.

The AG’s Department earlier said that former MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena had failed to explain how he earned such an income to make those deposits especially in a time during which he acted as an elected Member of the Parliament in 2010 to 2015.