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Drastic drop in organised crime

The rate of organised crime has been reduced by 37 percent in comparison to 2014, Law and Order and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said in Parliament.

He made this observation on Friday, taking part in the Committee Stage debate on the Budget 2018, under the expenditure Head of Defence Ministry.

He also said that the government is taking measures to bring organised crime to a halt.

The Minister further said 92 files have been directed to the Attorney General for instructions by the Financial Crime Investigation Unit.

“They are not small files,” Minister Ratnayaka said.

“Some are big enough to load an entire vehicle. We require to study the Mutual Legal Agreements between the countries and many other agreements on transaction of money between states. These cannot be done overnight,” the Minister said.

He further said that indictments have been filed against 13. He added one out of the 13 cases concerns obtaining goods worth Rs 5.1 million without making payments.

He also added that the accused are Johnston Fernando and two others. He said that another case was in connection with obtaining Rs 2.99 billion without approval from the Divi Neguma Fund sans proper approval of which Basil Rajapaksa and two others are accused. In another matter on which indictment is filed, Rs. 2.4 million has been taken to print the Almanac of the Divi Neguma Ministry of which two are accused, including Basil Rajapaksa.

Minister Ratnayaka also said that the other cases are misappropriation of People’s Leasing money, setting up of Hello Cope, with money amassed illegally, misappropriation of funds of the Treasury Bills and misappropriation of money from Sil Redi distribution.

“We saw how some rode bicycles from the junction,” said Minister Ratnayaka. “Making a budget to win foreign investors is not as easy as making ports and airports that did not attract ships and planes respectively.”

The Minister added that the budget proposal for 2018 is designed to trade with the international community.