Former FCID Chief Senior DIG (retired) Ravi Waidyalankara has openly sided with the Rajapaksa campaign, days after the same police division he headed for 4 years found his wife and son embroiled in a massive financial fraud and money laundering scandal involving well known financial scammer and businessman Rienzie Edwards.
Ravi Waidyalankara | File photo
The details were revealed in the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court by the same agency SDIG Waidyalankara headed from 2015 to February 2019 on Monday (21).
The FCID first began investigating the matter under DIG Waidyalankara based on a July 2015 complaint. The investigations continued until 2016, when Monday’s B report indicates Waidyalankara and his family began its financial dealings with Edwards. FCID investigations into Edwards financial dealings had stalled until Waidyalankara was removed as the head of the agency in February this year.
According to the B report filed on October 21, the FCID investigation revealed that SDIG Waidyalankara’s wife Mary Basilica was a director Soorya International Corporation (Pvt) Limited, one of the companies under investigation for being set up using funds defrauded from clients in the US and transferred to Sri Lanka.
Edwards defrauded dozens of clients in the US through a fake investment scheme, by claiming he and his staff were representatives of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The money was then transferred to bank accounts in Sri Lanka, and over Rs. 5.2 billion used to purchase property in the island.
In October 2016, DIG Waidyalankara’s wife Mary Basilica, became a director in a company owned by Edwards, while the matter was still under FCID investigation.
According to the FCID B report, Soorya International Corporation (PVT) Limited was incorporated under the PV number 111792 on October 2, 2016. Rienzie Edward’s wife, Punya Priyanji Manike Edwards is also listed as a director of the company.
Soorya International is registered at the address No 16/A2 Monarch Residencies, Galle Road, Colpetty. The FCID B report said the apartment was owned by Asela Waidyalankara, the son of SDIG Ravi Waidyalankara. Asela Waidyalankara’s company Talos Management Consultants in which the 36 year old is old is the sole shareholder, purchased the apartment at Rs 52 million, paying a total of more than 9 million in cash to the seller.
The FCID report to court said that the apartment had been purchased from Kenneth Gordon Mcalpine of No 45/5 Barnes Place, Colombo 07 at a value of Rs 52 million on February 11, 2016. Investigations into the purchase are continuing, the B report said.
Corruption scandals have dogged the now retired top cop. Earlier this year, Asela Waidyalankara denied to the media that he was the owner of the Monarch Apartment No 16/A2.
The FCID B report to court this week makes several references to the fact that the US Government requested assistance under the Mutual Legal Assistance Act in December 2016 and asked Sri Lankan authorities to freeze Edwards’ accounts in the country, to which the defrauded monies had been transferred. A list of bank accounts was sent to the GOSL authorities, along with the indictment against Edwards in New York.
By this time, SDIG Waidyalankara’s wife was already a director at one of Edwards’ companies.
Colombo Telegraph can now reveal that having been forwarded the request from the US Government, Waidyalankara deliberately delayed freezing the accounts until the funds were safely disbursed.
The former head of the FCID has long since been suspected of serious corruption and dealings with suspects in high profile investigations handled by the agency. Over the past two years, he has become intimate with SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his inner circle, leading law enforcement authorities and even the former IGP Pujith Jayasundara to suspect that he was deliberately suppressing probes related to the former Defence Secretary and senior officials in the Rajapaksa administration.
With the details of his corruption being made public on Monday, SDIG Waidyalankara appeared on the Derana nightly news broadcast today (25) claiming that he was pressured by the Government to investigate members of the Rajapaksa family. He also attacked Ahimsa Wickrematunge, the daughter of slain Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge for a letter she wrote linking her father’s death to his exposes about Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s involvement in the MiG-27 procurement in 2006.
“While I was at FCID, there was not a shred of evidence that Gotabaya Rajapaksa was a suspect in the MiG investigation,” he told Derana, the channel aligned to the former Defence Secretary. Moments later, Hiru TV the network owned by Duminda Silva’s brother Raynor Silva carried the exact same interview with Waidyalankara. Duminda Silva, a notorious drug kingpin who served as monitoring MP to the Defence Ministry while Gotabaya Rajapaksa served as Secretary, was convicted for the murder of SLFP politician Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and four others in 2011, and is currently on death row. Rajapaksa’s victory in the November election could see him pardoned.
Sources told the Colombo Telegraph that SDIG Waidyalankara had panicked after he got wind of the FCID B report, and fearing his arrest, decided to openly back Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s election campaign. He has agreed to sit for several media interviews at the behest of the campaign, in order to tear down investigations carried out by the FCID as politically motivated witch-hunts. (By Deepal Banadaranayake)