The Sunday Leader

No Record Of Monies In Swiss Banks – Central Bank

  • Millions of Swiss francs deposited every year
  • Exchange Controller says monies sent out illegally

By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema

The Central Bank is unaware of millions of Swiss francs deposited in Swiss bank accounts in the past few years by Sri Lankan individuals and organizations or how the monies have been sent out of the country.
The Exchange Control Unit of the Bank says it does not have any record of the monies deposited in Swiss bank accounts and they would have been deposited through illegal means.
Exchange Controller C. H. O. Chandrasoma said the millions of francs that have reportedly been deposited in the Swiss banking system have been sent out of the country through illegal means.
He explained that monies could be legally sent out of Sri Lanka only through three channels – for education, medical or business purposes.
“Apart from these three means there is no other legal way of sending monies out of the country,” he observed.
However, admitting that he too had heard of the millions deposited in Swiss bank accounts, Chandrasoma said there was no inquiry into such accounts by the Central Bank.
“We have not received any complaints about the Swiss bank accounts. If we receive any complaint about an irregularity, we would make a request from the Swiss National Bank for details,” he said.
Nevertheless, details of the Swiss counts and their holders would only be known depending on whether the Swiss National Bank (equivalent to the Central Bank) could divulge the details.
“The Swiss National Bank would have to decide on whether to give us the information when requested depending on the confidentiality agreements reached with their clients,” Chandrasoma observed.
The millions of Swiss francs deposited in the Swiss banking system were revealed by JVP politburo member K. D. Lalkantha recently.
He said that Swiss National Bank data had recorded that in 2002, Sri Lanka’s assets in all Swiss banks totalled 22.9 million Swiss francs, 34.7 million in 2003, 105.5 million in 2004, 177.6 million in 2005, 56.5 million in 2006, 123.5 million in 2007, 104.8 million in 2008, 87.5 million in 2009 and 111.3 million in 2010.
Last year the amount has been recorded at 85 million francs while liabilities have been recorded at 44 million francs.
Lalkantha observed that looking at the Swiss National Bank data, it was interesting to note that the highest asset year where Sri Lankans were concerned was in 2005.
In 2005, the assets in the Swiss bank accounts have stood at 177.6 million francs.
“This is the year when a large amount of foreign funds flowed into the country following the December 2004 tsunami. So one could only imaging there is a connection in the inflow of monies and the outflows to the Swiss bank accounts. Therefore, there are doubts over how the monies have been deposited in the accounts,” he said.
He noted that the Central Bank could not shirk its responsibilities saying it does not know how the monies have been deposited or who has deposited the monies in Swiss accounts.
“They are after all assets from Sri Lanka. There needs to be some knowledge of the monies flowing out from the country,” he reiterated. According to Lalkantha, the Central Bank needs to inquire into the matter and make public how such large amounts of monies have been taken out of the country.
Meanwhile, the main opposition UNP has in parliament called for a full probe into the Swiss bank accounts.

6 Comments for “No Record Of Monies In Swiss Banks – Central Bank”

  1. Newton

    It is like “Horage ammagen Pena Ahanawa wage”. Those who deposit money in the Swiss Banks know how to channel the money without going through the Central Bank. So I don’t understand why the people expect any credible answer from the Central Bank.

  2. Manu

    Exchange controler is saying fairy tale stories !!!

  3. Hewa

    @The Excahnge Controller- If the money has been sent through the Central Bank obviously there is no need to investgate such cases ( of course assuming that the Central Bank is not upto mischief on this kind of thing!!). So if you have no records of any money been sent through the CB, it is simple logic that the money lying in Geneva in the name of Sri Lankans could have got there in one of 3 ways i.e (a)Sri Lankans living abroad sending money in a legitimate manner- your answer did not even include this category (b)Illegal commissions paid to SL nationals which are really bribes, being paid into accounts in Geneva- again you ” innocently” I beleive forgot to mention this category in your answer too !! and(c) Sri Lankans living in SL remitting the country’s wealth in an illegal manner. It is the last two categories which need to be investigated.So why wait until you receive a complaint to investigate such cases? When police come across a dead body do they wait until some one lodges a complaint to inestigate about it? So is it not the sacrosanct duty of a country’s Central Bank to rigorously investgate ” ALL” such cases and bring the culprits to book?.Why wait for a complaint?. Does not the complaint lodged by a Hon. Memeber of Parliament which has absolute jurisdiction on all such matters not good enough??

  4. My Lanka

    Under educated and selfish political goons of Sri Lanka cannot speak any good european languages except broken english and hand gestures that suit Asian countries. Try Asian banks and Asian countries in particular Singapore….to find the loot… Some deposit in Australia….

  5. fefe

    When the Governor of CB has also deposited money earned illegally in Swiss Banks how would the CB knows about the money. The big thief’s in Sri Lanka are President, Defense secretary, Basil, Namal, (all rajapakse’s) and if CB says anything… watch out for a WHITE VAN!

    Recently, Yoshitha went to the NAM in Iran, What does he has to do there?
    President flew to Iran with a massive delegation in a A340! Who’s money is this? Did anyone in the flight pay for the trip?
    People who cannot afford 3 meals a day paid it .

    WHAT A SHAM on Rajapakse….. Time to kick them OUT for GOOD!

  6. Exchange controller not only could investigate Swiss Bank but all the other international banks that could help him to identify the Sri Lankan depositors. Saint Marino also a popular destination.

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