Funny Money

December 08, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s main opposition party has said the government should investigate suspected money laundering transactions in the Colombo Stock Exchange, when the vote on the finance ministry’s budget was taken up in parliament this week.

UNP Parliamentarian Bandula Gunawardene, a former deputy finance minister said Sri Lanka is gaining a reputation as a place for money laundering with investors becoming concerned, after questions were raised at an investment forum in Singapore last month.

Concerns have also been raised in the media in Sri Lanka about several suspected financial transactions, on the Colombo Stock Exchange.

The alleged deals, bear the classic hallmarks of a second phase of money laundering transaction known as ‘layering’, in which at least two foreign commercial banks are said to be involved.

They also say there could be another case where co-mingling of assets is taking place, though authorities are yet to take action.

Gunawardene says action should be taken investigate suspect transactions, by the Financial Intelligence Unit, which was especially set up to counter money laundering.

He is one of a group of opposition parliamentarians who have asked for a select committee to probe the app