Government encouraging dubious investors: 2nd Oil refinery investor suspicious

Government encouraging dubious investors: 2nd Oil refinery investor suspicious

Written by Staff Writer

06 Apr, 2019 | 7:00 pm

Colombo (News 1st): Speaking at the 3rd meeting of the Asia Europe Political Forum, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says that the government is looking at the Asian Development Bank and Japan on how to expand the Colombo harbour, Southern port and the Northern harbour.

Although Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe boasts about proposed projects, almost daily, there is a revelation about the proposed oil refineries in the country.

After the first proposed project to construct an oil refinery in Hambantota drowned in massive allegations of corruption and fraud. Deputy Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Nalin Bandara said the government plans to construct a second oil refinery worth US$ 14 billion.

The track record of the investor involved in this project as well is anything but clean.

In a report published by Daily Mirror, it was revealed that a Singapore based company named Sugih Energy International will be investing in this mega project. The company has a history of its shareholders being indicted over massive corruption charges.

Foreign Media reported, the majority shareholder of Sugih Energy International in 2014, Edward Soeryadjaya has been indicted in Indonesia over corruption charges against him over the Pertamina pension fund management case.

The gravity of the allegations levelled against him is evident as the prosecution in the case has demanded an 18-year jail term.

He was guilty of arranging stock trading transactions with retirement fund managers by investing at PT Sugih Energy shares, the chosen company to invest in the second oil refinery project in Sri Lanka.

The corrupt transaction within the Pertamina’s pension fund in Indonesia had caused a state loss of more than US$ 42 million.

Parallels can be drawn between corruption at the Pertamina’s pension fund and the Central Bank bond scam on a number of levels.

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