CID bust massive money transaction during Presidential election; Rs. 149 million transferred from Chinese company’s accounts; Money used for T-shirts and caps sporting MR badges.
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) is investigating a case where the China Harbour Engineering Company has allegedly handed over a staggering Rs. 149 million to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s election campaign, last year.
China Harbour Engineering Company was a company involved in a number of key construction projects in Sri Lanka – including the Hambanthota International Harbour- when former President Rajapaksa was in power.
The company is an international contractor that is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company Ltd (CCCC).
The CID had found out that money had been obtained from HTPD Phase 02 013359190/19 account of the company, maintained at Standard Chartered Bank, Colombo. A person by the name of V.H.R.H. Francisco had obtained Rs. 89 million on December 12, 2014 and January 07, 2015 in three cheques, CID sources said.
The Police had found evidence that the money had been handed over to a person named Hema Madiwela, who was involved in election operations at Temple Trees, to produce 245,000 T-shirts and 125,000 caps containing the picture of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
T-shirts, caps and wrist watches sporting the badge of Rajapaksa were distributed among voters across the country during the last Presidential election.
Meanwhile, in a separate transaction, Rs. 58 million had been obtained from a person by the name of Priyantha Samarasinghe from the same account in two cheques. The CID investigators told the Daily News that the money had allegedly been obtained under instructions of a company named Nation Lanka.
“This too had been handed over to Hema Madiwela attached to the Elections Operations Unit at Temple Trees,” he added.
The officer said several individuals had already been questioned in connection with the transactions.