Sri Lanka Megapolis official resigns over Panama Papers scandal

Apr 12, 2016 (LBO) – Megapolis and Western Development Ministry today said Ministry Consultant Vidya Amarapala had decided to resign from his post to facilitate inquiry into the Panama Papers leaks.

“The attention of the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry has been drawn to the listing of the name of Ministry Consultant Vidya Amarapala in the Panama Papers exposure,” the Ministry said in a statement.

“The list exposed by some websites in Sri Lanka that includes Amarapala’s name does not have a link to Mossack Fonseca or Panama Papers.”

The media reports referred to a list of names of Sri Lankans published in 2013 who had allegedly held offshore accounts or had companies in Singapore.

Nevertheless, he has resigned to facilitate any inquiry, the statement said.

Amarapala was the chairman of the CEB between 2010 and 2011. He also served as an executive at the IWS Holdings Ltd. owned by Arthur Senanayaka between 2003 to 2010.

He has maintained this particular account while serving as a Director of the Sovereign Capital Corporation (SCC) belonging to Senanayaka, and that company had not been charged for wrong-doing up to now after being named in the 2013 list, the statement said.

“Amarapala has decided to keep away from all his responsibilities and functions of this ministry and to tender his resignation papers to Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka with the hope that it will be easier if the Ministry decides to conduct any investigation into the issue.”

“Minister Ranawaka’s Secretary has been directed to lodge a complaint to the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) to inquire whether the SCC had been involved in financial fraud in any way during the period 2003 – 2010 when Amarapala was serving there.”

Sri Lanka is moving ahead with an investigation on leaks contained in the Panama Papers, although clear information is not yet available.

The files leaked from a Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca contain 40 years of data and include information on more than 210,000 companies in 21 offshore jurisdictions, from Panama to Hong Kong.

The files show how Mossack Fonseca clients were able to evade and avoid tax.