Money Laundering : Two Chinese nationals in custody, Police in search of 3rd suspect

Money Laundering : Two Chinese nationals in custody, Police in search of 3rd suspect

Money Laundering : Two Chinese nationals in custody, Police in search of 3rd suspect

Written by Keshala Dias

07 Apr, 2018 | 10:09 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – The three Chinese nationals who had almost a billion rupees in their bank accounts in Sri Lanka, are a part of an international organised criminal enterprise, authorities say.

Investigations have revealed, the men were involved in purchasing and selling gems.

On March 15, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) at the Central Bank had made a complaint to the Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) citing suspicious transactions in accounts maintained by three Chinese nationals at a private bank in Colombo 03.

Two of the suspects, Weibin Liu and Su Dianzhang were arrested by the Police FCID on April 5, and produced before Court. They were later remanded until April 12.  One of the suspects was arrested along with eight other Chinese passports.The 3rd suspect, Bing Huang is currently overseas.

According to statements recorded by the Police FCID, suspects Weibin Liu and Su Dianzhang had been visiting Sri Lanka since 2017, and details in their visas have been proven false. Investigations have revealed that the Chinese men had wired money from their bank accounts in China to an agent by the name Zhan Yuemin who thereafter wires the payment to a person in Madagascar who then sends gems to Sri Lanka.

After obtaining gems, the suspects had sold them to Chinese tourists and traders in Sri Lanka and these transactions had taken place at hotels in Colombo. The suspects have so far failed to declare how they obtained money to purchase gems, and details of their sales.

Detectives uncovered that the day after investigations commenced, the suspects had launched a company together with a Sri Lankan partner and obtained a license from the National Gem and Jewellery Authority.

The local bank accounts of all three suspects have been frozen, and as of the date of freezing the accounts, suspect Su Dianzhang had Rs. 365 million in his account from September 30th last year. Suspect Weibin Liu had Rs. 201 million in his account.

As of now, the accounts contain a total of Rs. 958 million.

In addition, Police FCID had informed court that the above are punishable offenses under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, and the Immigrants and Emigrants Act.

The Police FCID is continuing investigations as they believe the suspects are a part of an international organized criminal enterprise.

 


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