The First Lady’s brother and SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe has admitted that the foreign exchange worth Rs. 35 lakhs that was stolen from his residence in Mt. Lavinia and later recovered was smuggled in to the country.
Nishantha Wickremasinghe has made the statement to The Sunday Leader in an interview with the newspaper. He has said that the monies and the Rolex wrist watch was brought into the country by his son Dilshan Wickremasinghe who resides in Australia in April this year.
The SriLankan Airlines Chairman has told the newspaper that people bring foreign exchange for various reasons and that it was normal to see most of them not declaring the monies to the Customs.
According to Sri Lankan laws, bringing foreign exchange worth US$ 2,000 or above even in any other foreign currency without declaring it at the Customs is a punishable offence. It is also a punishable offence for a person to hold foreign currency or even deposit it in a bank without permission from the Exchange Controller. The Attorney General has already filed two cases against UNP Colombo District parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake and Sarath Fonseka’s sister in-law, Ashoka Thilekaratne for possessing foreign exchange without the Exchange Controller’s permission.