The Sunday Leader

Son Smuggled The Foreign Currency In – SriLankan Airlines Chairman

Sri Lankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremesinghe told The Sunday Leader that his son Shehan Michael Wickremesinghe did not declare Rs. 3.1 million worth of foreign currency to Sri Lanka Customs when he arrived in the country in April this year.
“A lot of people who bring money into the country for different purposes don’t declare the monies. People bring cash to invest in a car or buy a land but they have a fear psychosis of declaring the monies because they think that will lead to different connotations,” he said.
“He brought it as pocket money,” Wickremesinghe said, adding that his son had given the cash to his wife as a thank you to his parents having spent some “Rs 8 million on his education in Canada.”
According to family sources Shehan Wickremesinghe emigrated to Australia recently and works in marketing in a small missionary organization. In fact, in contradiction to this statement to another Sunday newspaper last week that his two sons had given him the foreign exchange as a birthday gift, he now says he has only one son abroad.
He also claims now that the 4 million rupee wristwatch was a birthday gift from his wife and two sons.  However, his second son who lives in Sri Lanka Dilshan Wickremesinghe refused to comment and said to ask his father for any details.
Dilshan Wickremesinghe is Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director of Asset Networks (Pvt.) Ltd., a company engaged in IT services in Colombo and is also facing bribery charges after UNP Provincial Councilor Shiral Lakthilaka alleged that he provided unbranded computers to the government when the contract stipulated that the computers had to be branded.
Nishantha Wickremesinghe has given the media multiple explanations. First it was money given by Sri Lankan Airlines for an official trip to China.
He then said his wife had collected the foreign currency over a period of time but had not banked it as she did not believe in banks.
The scandal broke when his house in Mount Lavinia was robbed by what the police say “a drug addict” who was arrested last week. The police have since then refused to divulge the amount of foreign exchange that was robbed.  Initial reports however from a senior police official who did not want to be named said, “US $ 11,500 and Sterling Pounds- 10,500 was stolen from Wickremesinghe’s residence at De Saram Place, Mount Lavinia.”
The police last week took a u-turn on the robbery of foreign currency from the house of  Wickremesinghe.
Despite the police initially saying that among the items stolen from his home three weeks ago was foreign currency to the value of over Rs. 4 million, police spokesman S. P. Ajith Rohana last week told this newspaper that most of the money stolen from the house was not foreign currency.  (See page 10 for full interview with Sri Lankan Airlines Chairman)

52 Comments for “Son Smuggled The Foreign Currency In – SriLankan Airlines Chairman”

  1. Vicky

    Well, it is understandable for him to bring that kind of money into the Country. Nephew of the President should be allowed to have 3 million rupees are his pocket money. No questions asked!!!

  2. Lal.Fernando

    Well there are more twists and turns to this story than our twenty one hair pin bends in the country.

  3. Bassa

    If the foreign currency was not declared to the Customs when it was brought to the country, it is a violation of the Customs Ordinance and the foreign currency is liable to forfeiture under Customs Ordinance and the accused is liable to to a penalty of treble the value of the currency so brought.

    Now Nishantha admitting the fact Customs authorities should take immediate action to apply the law indifferently to this individual, just as they act against any other fraudster who violated the Customs Ordinance.

    No one is unequal before the law.

  4. Loku

    Someone–obviously–is not telling the truth.

  5. Mr Retort

    Son might try to help father out of the mess here and get himself involved in bigger problems in Australia for tax evading and other irregular acts.

  6. Tomsamusa

    The can of worms has been opened; thanks to the only free press before the pakse thugs come with either the white van or “officially” close “down the press for interfering with theier illegal activities.
    It’s up to the International community and the regional powerto savr the sinking lanka!!!!!

  7. Rohith

    Yea, yea, what…ever… we know you are innocent, you dont have to give excuses..

  8. No doubt why Srilankan Airlines and Mihin Air running at very high loss .. No doubt why govt organisations under UPFA govt of 18 years rule are loosing more than 19 billion and continuing losses. No doubt why rupee is getting depreciated, Cost of living sky rocketed and common people are starving and dying.

  9. Patriot

    Golly! Good, good, now the first citizen BIL can use this like KP’s cash and gold for the development of (hmmmmm) the country.

  10. RENU

    HE IS AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE TO THE first lady, lies , lies & More lies. How can he hold a post of Chairman at Srilankan

  11. Peter Australia

    Come on Guys, after all he is one of the Queens Brothers so the King and his Humpty Dumpties will not Fall.

  12. Prof Wickramatillake

    As a close friend who sat next to me at STC, I am proud that Nishantha has confessed what has happened, but also ashamed that a nice soft spoken Nishantha and family (all boys Thomians) have got into big money and all that; power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely

  13. jay gunasekara

    Nishantha is lying his sons are not wealthy to give the presents they claim to receive. This is ill gotten loot that came to light as result of a break in.This is the culture of stealing as much as you can in this 2500 yr buddhist culture>?

  14. Walter

    What a mess? When you start lying you weave such web from which you can’t escape, unless, of course you are in Sri Lanka and happens to be President’s BIL.

  15. Malith.

    Dear Sir, You come out with the truth, its much easy and less problems. Now you are involving your whole family to this fiasco. Just say you got a small commission. Who cares man, when every one else is making money, why can’t you make some little money. You and I know how you lived when you were a planter. You were a very honest man. You just said it loud, if you didn’t have money to go out with other planters on a night out or for dinner. You can say it. If not you are going to open up a huge can of worms. Just say the watch was a gift from your sister. Just say, the money was given to you for safe keeping by the central bank Governor because they got too much money and have no place to keep the money. Match over, and they will never question them. Sir, you were very honest and didn’t think far when you said the truth to the police when your house was robbed. Now see how the truth is coming to attack you? So turn around, be strong, and spill the truth. You will be happy…

  16. action was taken to ‘U’ TURN double polic-e…..i this is call personal development not country development …i

  17. vintage voter

    Lying is forbidden by the fourth of the Five Precepts, the fundamental ethical training rules for all Buddhists. “For a liar who has violated the one law (of truthfulness) who holds in scorn the hereafter, there is no evil that he cannot do.”[42]


  18. Lal

    So, this son who smuggled foreign currency into the country will not be charged by the authorities for doing so?

  19. Mohan Jayasinghe

    Dear Mr. Wickramasinghe,

    I am making this humble request to you as a fellow Thomian. When you and your other relatives were in college – you were well respected and knowing the Wickramasinghe family of Mount Lavinia was a pride. It is sad the way you have answered the questions thrown at you by FJ (of course she has done a wonderful job) – and though you say you are not a politician the answers are vague just like how corrupt politicians of our country do answer. You say just because MR is your BIL mud is thrown at you but I am quite sure the relatives are taking advantage out from our President who will not pin point to you and say do the wrong thing. If I recall your memory there is an ongoing case – a big one – relating to an Ex Army Commander for purchasing arms out of the procurement procedure and it is very funny to for you to say being a Thomian planter who are well discipline men that you broke the procedures when offering the in flight duty free to a company headed by another Thomian colleague of yours.

    The foreign currency being brought to the country by your son – your answer is unacceptable and I think you should be humble enough to hand over the same to the customs if you consider yourself from the Thomian pride. Finally let me sincerely request from you to make the wisest decision on this matter – you have learnt this at STC from masters of caliber of Coparahewa’s and Arisen Ahubudu’s. Please do not disgrace your Alma mater by doing things wrong in public or against your conscious – Esto Perpetua.!

  20. vintage voter


  21. samuel

    Yeah Yeah we now understand what happens to smuggled money. Not by your son but other passengers. They end up in pockets of the crooks like him. Since all of the government consists of bunch of smugglers this is nothing!

  22. samuel

    Ah and police spokesman, we thought puppets of Balangoda will be extinct. We have a new launderer who cleans dirty cloths of the regime!

  23. Len

    [Shehan Michael Wickremesinghe did not declare Rs. 3.1 million worth of foreign currency to Sri Lanka Customs when he arrived in the country in April this year.]

    Did he declare that Autralian $20,000 pocket money to the Australian Immigration and Custom? his employer in Australia know what he did?

  24. dagobert

    You liar…….. Let the court confiscate his monies.
    NW… keep your story to yourself. First let the court confiscate his monies.
    Then police to proceed with how he obtained the money.

    Nishantha, cheating & deceit are good things provided you don’t get caught.
    But you need to be prepared to face the consequences if you do get caught as well.

    Ypu knowingly dabbled in foreign currency.

    Ajith Rohana, let the police deal with the issue with the same bar used on criminals.
    Now… now Nishantha, take the rap & resign your post…. You are well & truly exposed by your own fault and greed.
    Greed……………… If polive were to reciver, it will be not yours. The Foreign currency need to be confiscated & a heavy penalty need to be imposed on you.
    You greedy fool……………….. You wanted to eat the cake and have it as well.

  25. sorrowless

    subha anagathayak!

  26. Asoka

    Innocent Guy. Never think of robbing state funds.

  27. Even Girigoris of junthupitiya will not come out with such blatant blatant lies !

  28. kingkong


  29. Dr Ranjit Leanage

    Just shows that Rajapakse family are all crooks

  30. Meena M.

    What a bunch of criminals. The entire family, including the in laws are playing out this country, and personally gaining from the powers they hold. They seem to be changing their story as time goes, and the police seem to be toeing that line.
    This is only the tip of the iceberg folks, they are getting away with worse crime.

  31. Kanchana

    I can’t imagine an idiot like the heading the National Carrier. No wonder its down in the drains

  32. Country of No LAW

    Fathers, sons and brothers robbing the whole country
    (1) Tsunami Hora
    (2) Gold Hora
    (3)Doller Hora
    (4)Kadu Hora
    (5)Land Hora
    What is next????????????????

  33. Lier

    Must learn to lie better

  34. raymond

    The crooks Sajin Vaas Gunawardena
    Rajapakshe Family
    Carlton family , How much of foreign currency should be with them, make a guess. The robbers know where the black corrupted money is

  35. Ashjay

    Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves! This is Sri Lanka. The wonder of Asia!

  36. Concerned Sri Lankan

    The story of burglary itself is suspicious. Is wickremesinghe trying to cover up
    something through the burglary story.

    Whatever it is he is the brother of President’s wife and he can do anything with impunity.

  37. Eddy

    “Dee kirata Balaluth sakkilu”

  38. Hiran G

    Dear people of Sri Lanka, We vote people in & this is what the politicians & their relations are up to! Wake up!! We need some strong leaders in parliament.

  39. sunimal wanigasekera

    In this case the man takes pride in publicising the assets of his of his family to impress the meek and lowly. It demonstrates the gross lack of class of persons appointed to public office. These incompetent public officials who consistently bring disrepute to the country should be hounded out immediately in order to show a semblance of credibility.

  40. Supun Perera

    Please do not laugh or be surprised, this is corrupt, lawless Banana Republic. In this Republic the priority is Corruption, followed by Intimidation and Murder. It is a known fact that the Criminals, Murderers, Rapists and Drug dealers are protected and only the innocent are harassed using the politicized Police Force and the Kangaroo Courts. This is the only Republic where the Chief Justice is the wife of a Political Goon whose speciality is robbing the Country.

  41. n.c.wijeratne

    So many facets to this case; so many millions.,when people talk in terms of millions in Sri Lanka., and when there is foreign exchange in the homes and also when some of them are in high positions., and some are doing business with the Government., Thjen what happens: THEY DONT INVESTIGATE!

    You know the story in SL…baduth Ho………..

  42. Hansan

    He must not lie and put his young sons in trouble as the sons should have a feture. He better face his dirty greedyness and shame with out letting the sons get it. Shame.

  43. Mervyn

    Nisantha Wickramasinghe, should realize that apart from his family members the balance 99% of Sri Lankans are literate and are not idiots to believe this “cock and bull story “. He should remember that he can fool some the people some of the time but not all the time. Additionally, the robbery was staged by him when he realized that the coming colours are not in his favour. It is not a surprise since the type of curruptions are very closely related to MR’s clan (like importing Aston martins) and his relatives by way of marriages.

  44. This is why we need free media to expose the corrupt government and it’s members. In any other country this person would have sent to jail by now. It’s time to investigate the foreign bank accounts of the GOSL first family and ministers.

  45. MR

    Australia allows only 10,000 USD to be taken out undeclared. This guy has smuggled money out of Australia. What a spineless father????? He is risking his son to save himself …

  46. tomsamusa

    If the native lankans,especially the sinhala masses are sane,they SHOULD call for a recall election and throw the pakse thugs out of power.

  47. Aru

    Horungeth Horu

  48. Senanayake

    This country will never come right as long as we have this JR Jayawardena (HW Jayawardena) Constitution.
    Let us all get together and demand that the constitution be changed immediately on a priority basis.

  49. The money was a gift from his son for the father’s B’Day. MR should pardon him and advise Nishantha Wickremasinghe to declare hereafter any foreign money that is brought into the country.

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