Money Probe

Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman, BOI formally presents the Certificate of Registration to Indra Silva, Chairman, Indra Hotels and Resorts Kandy (Pvt) Ltd

July 23, 2007 (LBO) – Money laundering investigators say authorities are probing activities of Goldquest in Sri Lanka but details could not be released because there was no legal provision to do so. Officials had claimed earlier in the seminar that money laundering through the financial system could turn away genuine foreign investors. “Goldquest investigations are continuing,” Joan de Zilva, consultant to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) that is charged with probing money laundering and terrorist financing, said.

“Whatever investigations are being conducted, we cannot disclose them.”

Officials told a public seminar Friday that the FIU would probe transactions where proceeds of transnational crimes, exchange control fraud and pyramid schemes are laundered through Sri Lanka’s financial system.

Goldquest activists had previously been charged by the Central Bank for foreign exchange fraud under the country’s exchange control laws. Some activists were also arrested under anti-pyramiding laws.

Kingpins of the Goldquest scheme were arrested in Indonesia earlier this year through Interpol action on a warrant issued over fraud charges in the Philippines.