Written by Nathasha De Alwis
04 Feb, 2018 | 8:04 pm
Former Sri Lankan ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga was arrested at the Dubai airport today, February 4.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs notes that a special team is to be dispatched to Dubai to bring Udayanga Weeratunga back to the country.
Speaking to News1st, officials at the Police FCID confirmed that Udayanga Weeratunga was arrested in Dubai today. Immigration and emigration officials at the Dubai International Airport had questioned and arrested Weeratunga based on an Interpol notice, which has been requested by the FCID.
Weeratunga, is alleged to have committed financial misappropriation when purchasing MiG aircraft for the Sri Lanka Air Force in 2005. Allegations have also been leveled at the former ambassador for allegedly using his diplomatic identity as a cover to sell weapons to Ukrainian rebels. He has also been accused of being involved in the death of Noel Ranaweera, a staffer at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Russia.
The Weliamuna Committee Report, which was tasked with rooting out corruption in Sri lankan Airlines, had recommended that investigations be launched into the actions of Udayanga Weeratunge.
On June 30, 2017, Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne issued an order that barred the former ambassador from using his passport. Steps were also taken to freeze 16 bank accounts operating under his name. Weeratunge has made no attempts to hide himself and has been pictured on a number of occasions next to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other former ministers.
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