July 11, 2009 (LBO) – A high profile opposition lawmaker has been charged under Sri Lanka’s exchange control laws for assisting a foreign investor to deposit three million US dollars in a private bank, a media report said. UNP lawmaker Ravi Karunayake has been indicted with violating exchange control laws by helping deposit the money in Standard Chartered Bank without Central Bank permission, The Daily Mirror newspaper reported.
One million dollars had been brought into the country from Galleon International Master Fund on December 22, and a further two million from Raj Rajaratnam, on January 03, 2007, to buy shares in the Union Bank of Sri Lanka, report said.
The funds deposited by Rajaratnam were intended for the purchase of shares in the Union Bank of Sri Lanka, the news report said.
Along with Karunanayake, Nexia Corporate Consultants (Private) Limited and another person, L C Piyasena were also indicted on ten counts, The Daily Mirror said.
Sri Lanka’s current exchange control law dates back to 1953.
Foreign exchange controls were originally devised to prevent the dollarization of economies and the outflow of capital to preserve currency or gold pegs when countries with central b