Rajapaksas have siphoned off over USD 18 billion, says Mangala
May 7, 2015 02:28 pm
The government is getting the backing of four foreign nations to trace billions of dollars allegedly siphoned off by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family during their decade in power, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.
The observation was made at a press conference held in Colombo on Thursday (7).
This has come to light through a report sent to the government by the intelligence, according to the Foreign Minister.
“We believe that the Rajapaksas hold assets worth over USD 18 billion (approximate Rs. 237,933,000,000) in foreign countries,” he said.
“A probe has been launched to investigate this matter,” he added, saying four foreign nations have agreed to back the investigation.
“Yet, Rajapaksa wants to contest as the prime ministerial candidate. I suggest that time has come for him to spend his retirement,” Samaraweera said.
He also asserted the people voted against the former regime in a bid to put a full stop to corruption scandals and frauds. “The country needed a new political culture which we created with the January polls,” he said.
The Foreign Minister said that Rajapaksa and family are number two among Heads of State and Government who had stashed away billions abroad according to a list prepared by Transparency International (TI) Germany.
As per the TI list, President Mohd..Suharto of Indonesia had siphoned off US$ 15 to 35 billion; President Ferdinand Marcos of Philippines, US$ 5 bn to10 bn; President Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, US$ 5 bn; President Sani Abacha of Nigeria, US$ 2 to 5 bn; President Slobodan Milosovic, US$ 1 bn; President Jean Claude Duvalier of Haiti, US$ 300 million to 800 m; President Alberto Fujimori of Peru, US $ 600 million; President Paslo Lazarenco of Ukraine, US$ 114 m to 200 million; President Amoldo Alamain of Nicaragua,US $ 100 m; President of Philippines Joseph Estrada, US$ 78 m to 80 million.