Central Bank To Investigate Secret Bank Accounts
- Over 85 million Swiss francs invested by Sri Lankans in secret Swiss bank accounts
By Indika Sri Aravinda
An investigation is to be launched to see how over 85 million Swiss francs was invested by Sri Lankans in secret Swiss bank accounts last year. A Swiss franc is equal to around US$ 1.048.
The Exchange Control Department of the Central Bank said that currency to that value cannot be deposited in foreign bank accounts without clearance from the Central Bank.
The official also said that there are no records of money to the value of 85 million Swiss francs being deposited in any Swiss bank through a local bank.
Central Bank Exchange Control Department Controller M. R. M Abeyratne said that the money may have been deposited into the accounts of the depositors by their relatives in Switzerland.
Swiss banks however do not reveal the details of the account holder.
He said that the Central Bank will consider new laws in future to prevent foreign currency going out of the country through illegal means.
When The Sunday Leader contacted the Customs Department a spokesperson said that only a maximum of US$ 10,000 can be taken out of the country after it is declared at the airport Customs Department counter.
The spokesperson however said there was no declaration to the value of 85 million Swiss francs at any given time.
Meanwhile the spokesperson said that the money could have gone through the VIP lounge of the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) without being checked.
The spokesperson insisted that if the money had gone through the normal system at the airport then it would have been detected.
UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake accused the Central Bank of leaving room for foreign currency to go out of the country by relaxing laws after President Mahinda Rajapaksa came to power in 2005.
He said that Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal should take responsibility for this issue.
The UNP MP said that people using the VIP lounge should also be checked.