Tighter laws to seize drug money, property

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Laws pertaining to the Money Laundering Act and the Financial Transactions Reporting Act will be amended to confiscate money and other property amassed by drug barons now in custody.

Senior officials of the Attorney General’s Department, senior Police officers and other relevant state institutions held discussions with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa with regard to measures needed to be taken with regard to illegally obtained money and property including through drug rackets The meeting was held at Temple Trees.

During the discussions attention was drawn towards persons continuing to utilize illegally earned money, vehicles, property, houses and buildings obtained through illegal means, even after being arrested and remanded, until the court hearings conclude and the property is confiscated. Issuing a statement the office of the Prime Minister stated that action would be taken to prevent the relevant funds and property from being used for other illegal activity and to earn money, was also discussed during the meeting.

Officials had drawn the Prime Minister’s attention towards initially seizing funds and property obtained via illegal means, when the relevant suspects are arrested prior to taking measures to confiscate them.

The Prime Minister’s Office said that lengthy discussions were held on Monday pertaining to the provisions under the Money Laundering Act and the Financial Transactions Reporting Act No. 06 of 2006.

Officials had also detailed facts on introducing necessary amendments to the relevant acts and measures that can be taken in accordance with the existing provisions.

The Prime Minister’s Office further noted that a decision was taken to take measures promptly based on the existing provisions and to consider amending the necessary laws.

The Secretary to the Prime Minister Gamini Senarath, Defence Secretary Maj. Gen. (rtd) Kamal Gunaratne, Justice Ministry Secretary M.M.P.K. Mayadunne, acting IGP C.D. Wickramaratne, Head of the Central Bank Financial Intelligence Unit Chanaka Mohotti, Senior Solicitor General Haripriya Jayasundara and several other officials participated in the meeting with the Prime Minister.

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