Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has denied media reports that he maintained secret accounts in foreign banks. Rajapaksa in a release stated that members of the government have been spreading rumours about billions of dollars stashed abroad in secret accounts by him, his wife and sons.
“The allegation is refreshed from time to time through strategically placed media reports about American and Indian financial bodies joining in the search and special teams being sent to the Seychelles to look for the hidden money. Some weeks ago, the Cabinet spokesman had told Reuters that a member of a ‘leading family’ had $1,064 million in a secret account in Dubai,” the release stated.
The release added: “Recently, a government VVIP had even told a group of Parliamentarians about these supposed secret bank accounts in order to prejudice them against me. This unfounded allegation is being used as a convenient tool by my political opponents. Those familiar with the world of high finances will know that in this era of heightened surveillance due to concerns over money laundering and terrorist funding, accounts with millions of dollars cannot be operated without attracting the attention of the international regulatory authorities.
“If any such accounts existed, it is certainly not going to take this long to reveal their details.
The public should note that these rumours are being spread by the same individuals who said that helicopters had been purchased for the use of my sons and that horses had been bought for them from ‘Buckingham Palace in America.’
I would like to categorically state for the information of the public that neither I, my wife nor my sons maintain any illegal or secret offshore accounts in any foreign bank.”