Violation of Exchange Control Act: Ravi K Indicted
United National Party (UNP) Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake was served indictment before the Colombo High Court yesterday for violating provisions of the Exchange Control Act.
Colombo High Court Judge Deepali Wijesundara ordered to impound the passports of Ravi Karunanayake and of two other accused. The Court also granted them Rs. 100,000 each in cash bail and two sureties each of Rs. 1 million.
President’s Counsel Faisz Musthapa appearing for Karunanayake requested before the Court not to impound Karunanayake’s passport as he was a leading politician and public figure but Senior State Counsel Dileepa Pieris objected. The Court observed that these were the bail conditions that applied to all and refused the request by the defence counsel.
The Court also ordered Karunanayake to submit his passport on Monday to Court when the defence submitted that he had not brought his passport to Court yesterday. The Attorney General filed indictment against Nexia Corporate Consultants its consultant Lincoln Piyasena and Ravi Karunanayake. Ravi Karunanayake was charged for aiding and abetting Nexia Corporate Consultants of Park Road, Colombo 5 to withhold US$ three million.
The money in the Kirulapone Branch of the Standard Chartered Bank was withheld between 2006 and 2007 without the permission of the Central Bank.
According to the indictment Nexia had received US$ three million in December 2006 and January 2007 from non resident Galleon International Master Fund and also non resident Raj Rajaratnam and withholding the money in Standard Chartered Bank on behalf of them violating provisions of the Exchange Control Act.
Both Galleon International Master Fund and Raj Rajaratnam were from the USA.
The US$ three million (Rs. 321 million) was received and withheld by Nexia allegedly for the purchase of shares in the Union Bank of Colombo without the permission of the Central Bank.
Administrative Manager of Nexia Corporate Consultants Ranjith de Silva was produced before Court on behalf of the company. Senior State Counsel Dileepa Pieris appeared for the prosecution.
Attorneys Ananda Weerasooriya and Sudath Jayasundara appeared for the first accused, Attorney Anil Silva appeared for the second accused while President’s Counsels M.L.M. Ameen and Faisz Musthapa appeared for the third accused.
Ravi Karunanayake case: Court overrules defence objection
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 01:44
By T. Farook Thajudeen
Colombo High Court Judge Deepali Wijesundera over-ruled a preliminary objection raised by the defence seeking the dismissal of the indictment filed against Ravi Karunanayake. Counsel on behalf of Karunanayake contended that the said indictment was not in conformity with the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Act and allowed the prosecution to lead its evidence.
Following-up the Judges order, Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peris testified the Deputy Controller of Exchange Sisira Kumara Perera
In the action filed before the Colombo High Court, the Attorney General filed indictment papers against three accused, namely; Nexia Corporation Consultants (Private) Limited, Linton Piyasena and Ravi Karunanayake, for allegedly aiding and abetting the 1st and 2nd accused to act in violation of the Exchange Control Act.
The accused are alleged to have violated the Exchange Control Act by depositing USD one million, remitted by a non-resident named Raj Rajaratnam of Galleon International Masters' Fund at the Kirulapone branch of the Standard Chartered Bank, when the said money should have been deposited at the Union Bank for the purchase of its shares.
Sequel to reading of the charges to the accused by Court, Senior Counsel Anil Silva appearing for the first accused submitted that he was objecting to the hearing of the case before the High Court, as the provisions in the Exchange Control Act did not permit the Attorney General to decide whether the case should be heard as a summary or a non-summary one. Counsel submitted that it was up to the Magistrate to decide on that and that the Attorney General had erred by deciding on such a matter. On that premise Counsel sought the dismissal of the indictment.
President's Counsel Ananda Wijesekera and Rienzie Arsecularatne agreed with Anil Silva's submissions and submitted that the Attorney General had acted in violation of the conditions of the Exchange Control Act by filing indictment papers in the High Court.
Senior State Counsel Dileepa Peiris, in reply submitted that the case had been heard before the High Court for a reasonable period of time. He said the defence had not objected on any of those occasions and were now making an irrational objection. He also cited sections from the Criminal procedure Code to buttress his arguments.
President's Counsel Ananda Wijesekera with Sugath Jayasundera instructed by K. Ganeshayogan appeared for the 1st accused; Senior Counsel Anil Silva instructed by G.G. Arulpragasam appeared for the 2nd accused; President's Counsel Rienzie Arsecularatne with Methsiri Paranavithana Thejitha Koralage, Wasantha Batagoda and Dharshana Kuruppu appeared for Ravi Karunanayake.
Further trial was fixed for today.