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Unsavory Label

Nov 23, 2006 (LBO) – Foreign investors in Singapore who attended a road show by the Colombo Stock Exchange have raised questions about Sri Lanka’s growing infamy as a money laundering hub, and the inability of authorities to counter such activities, participants said. One foreign investor asked the head table what action the authorities planned to take against recent share acquisitions in Sri Lanka by companies with questionable backgrounds.

Sri Lankan officials had replied that the country has signed international conventions against money laundering and a Financial Intelligence Unit had been set up, a participant said.

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal, Colombo Stock Exchange Chairman Nihal Fonseka, representatives from blue chip investment firms such as Dialog Telecom, John Keells Holdings and Sri Lanka Telecom as well as stock brokering firms participated in the investment conference in Singapore.

Critics have charged that Sri Lanka is becoming a favourite target of companies engaged in international financial frauds and other questionable activities.

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank is also currently surrounded in controversy after a scandal erupted over the sudden closure of an investigation unit, that was probing the activities o

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