Written by Staff Writer
27 Nov, 2018 | 9:55 pm
Colombo (News1st): UNP MP S.M Marikkar accused Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa of unduly instructing the Director General of the Customs to release monies that were recently confiscated from an Iranian national. Marikkar stated Prime Minister Rajapaksa send a letter on the letter head of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.
The letter stated “case number BA – DCASE-128-201, the name of the applicant is Ali Rishard Morf. I, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka orders to release USD 53,455 that was apprehended”
The Finance Ministry in a statement rebutting the claim, noted that Sri Lanka Customs officials in the recent past apprehended an individual attempting to take US$ 53,455 out of the country in contravention of the Customs Ordinance.
Reports indicate that foreign nationals who work at the Uma Oya project, which is funded by the Republic of Iran, have sent their monthly salaries through the individual out of the country.
The Iranian Ambassador in Colombo on October 03rd, made an appeal to the Minister of Finance to release this money on humanitarian ground saying that this money belongs to the employees working at Uma Oya project.
Accordingly, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Mahinda Rajapaksa by virtue of the powers vested in him under section 164 of the S.L Customs Ordinance directed the Director General of Sri Lanka Customs to release this money to its legitimate owner.
UPFA MP Dayasiri Jayaseka commenting on the matter said that on the 21st of June, the then Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera instructed to legally send 17,000 Euros or USD 3000 stating that this is their salaries.
He noted that the current Finance Minister has released the money by virtue of the powers vested in him under section 164 of the S.L Customs Ordinance.
MP Jayasekara revealed that Mangala Samaraweera also released money to the Iranian national under section 164 of the S.L Customs Ordinance.
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