Image: Subaskaran Aliraja is a crony of all Rajapaksa’s.
Lycamobile is owned by Subaskaran Aliraja, who has become the owner of three radio and television channels in Sri Lanka. Recently Ranil Rajapaksa government rented him state owned Channel Eye for pittance.
In June 2016 French authorities raided the Paris office of mobile virtual operator Lycamobile, arrested 19 executives and charged nine of them.
Now a French court has convicted French Lycamobile for money laundering and VAT fraud.
They were convicted of money laundering and VAT fraud through a “complex” system, according to the court, which involved a series of shell companies, two Lycamobile salespeople and resellers in the Parisian district of La Chapelle.
The French companies of Lycamobile were sentenced on Thursday, October 26 in Paris to a fine of 10 million euros for money laundering and value-added tax (VAT) fraud, with the group’s former CEO receiving a prison sentence. and a heavy fine for complicity in this second offense. In a press release, Lycamobile “deplores the decision” and “announces that it has appealed”.
Almost four months after the trial, the court ruled that the card and phone top-up companies had “knowingly participated in a complex and elaborate money laundering scheme” between 2014 and 2016, which involved 17 million euros.
Former boss sentenced to eighteen months
The group’s former British boss, Christopher Tooley, was sentenced for complicity in VAT fraud to three years’ imprisonment, including eighteen months – a flexible sentence – and a fine of 250,000 euros, with a ban to run a business for five years. Alain Jochimek, was sentenced in both parts of the case, to three years in prison, including eighteen months to be served under an electronic bracelet, with a fine of 120,000 euros and the same prohibition to manage.
Eight other people were, finally, sanctioned for having been “links” in this “laundering circuit”, with sentences ranging from suspended prison sentence to eighteen months under an electronic bracelet, accompanied by fines of between 5,000 and 20,000 euros.