Former Sri Lankan minister held for financial fraud

Former Sri Lankan minister held for financial fraud

SAM Staff,
Mahindananda Aluthgamage. Photo: Reuters

Sri Lanka’s former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage was on Monday (Apr 16) arrested for allegedly misappropriating over LKR 39 million four years ago to buy sports goods, the police said.

Mr. Aluthgamage, a loyalist of former President Mahinda Rajapaksha, was arrested by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FICD) of the Sri Lankan police on charges of misappropriating government fund to buy sports goods, Carrom and Checker-boards, when he was a Minister, according to police.

He was produced before a local court, which released him on bail.

Mr. Aluthgamage has denied the allegations against him and accused the Maithripala Sirisena-led government of engaging in a political witch-hunt against the Opposition.

The Opposition has also alleged that the FCID of the police was “illegal” and it was set up for a political witch-hunt against the members of the Rajapaksa-led opposition group.

Corruption charges

Several family members of Mr. Rajapaksa and his close allies have faced corruption allegations since he lost the presidency to Mr. Sirisena in 2015. Mr. Aluthgamage had been arrested in 2016 over money-laundering allegations.