Sri Lanka President orders Bribery Commission to probe Sri Lankan links in Pandora Papers

Gotabaya Rajapaksa - President of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery (CIABOC) to conduct an inquiry into the Sri Lankans that were named in the controversial ‘Pandora Papers’.

Accordingly, the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery (CIABOC) was instructed to conclude the investigation in this regard within a month.

The Pandora Papers are 11.9 million leaked documents with 2.9 terabytes of data that the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published beginning on 03rd October 2021.

The leak exposed the secret offshore accounts of 35 world leaders, including current and former presidents, prime ministers, and heads of state as well as more than 100 billionaires, celebrities, and business leaders.

The investigation led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists involved 600 journalists from 150 media outlets in 117 countries.

Former Sri Lanka Minister Nirupama Rajapaksa’s name was also mentioned in the Pandora Papers.

The documents revealed that Nirupama Rajapaksa and her husband Nadesan are the actual economic beneficiaries of an offshore company, managed by a Singapore trust firm, used to purchase luxury residences in London and Sydney, Australia.

The anonymous real estate safe is still active in 2019, when the available documents stop, it states.

A former Member of Parliament, Nirupama served as deputy minister of water supply and drainage from 2010 to 2015.

The news organisations of the ICIJ described the document leak as their most expansive exposé of financial secrecy yet, containing documents, images, emails and spreadsheets from 14 financial service companies, in nations including Panama, Switzerland and the UAE, surpassing their previous release of the Panama Papers in 2016, which had 11.5 million confidential documents (2.6 terabytes).

At the time of the release of the papers, the ICIJ said it was not identifying its source for the documents.

Estimates by the ICIJ of money held offshore (outside the country where the money was made) range from US$5.6 trillion to US$32 trillion.