Free Press Journal

65 Sri Lankans figure in new Panama papers: reports


Colombo: Sixy five Sri Lankans, including Nissanka Senadhipathi, a businessman having links to the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa figured in the new edition of ‘Panama Papers’ with offshore accounts, media reports said today.

Three offshore entities, seven intermediaries and 53 address in Sri Lanka have also been exposed in the offshore leaks database made available by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), the Colombo Gazette reported.

According to the documents leaked from the Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca, Senadhipathi incorporated an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands with three others.

The Lanka government was investigating Senadhipathi’s firm Avant Garde for running a floating armory in the southern port of Galle.

The government had handed the floating armorys operation to the Sri Lanka Navy. Senadhipathi was closely linked to the previous Rajapaksa regime. The government had accused the Rajapaksa of siphoning off billions of dollars during his regime. The former president denying accusations had challenged the government to prove the charges.

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake had said last week that the government will set up a special panel to chase its nationals likely to figure in the Panama Papers.

Sri Lankan law allows nationals to set up offshore operations, but it must be declared to the Inland Revenue Department and the Exchange Control department of the Central Bank.

The failure to do so will be liable for prosecution under the Inland Revenue Act, exchange control laws and anti-money laundering legislation.