Law and Order Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara today said that necessary action is already in place to bring in wanted, high profile individuals like Udayanga Weeratunga and Arjuna Mahendran back to the country, who have found refuge in foreign countries.
The minister said the International Police is assisting the local law enforcement bodies to bring these suspects to the country and have so far issued Red Warrants upon the latter’s requests.
He confirmed that Udayanga Weeratunga had been arrested in Dubai, and an initial process is underway to bring him back with the consent of the UAE authorities.
“We have made a request to the UAE authorities to extradite him for investigation purposes. Also we are discussing with the Interpol and Singaporean authorities to find and apprehend Arjuna Mahendran.”
The Minister addressing a special media briefing said, though there is a considerable delay in the police probes in the corruption cases of the previous regime, action would be taken to expedite the legal process under his guidance.
The Minister said that he has a responsibility to work in line with the vision of the Yahapalana government, when bringing the culprits of the large scale financial crimes to book and expedite the legal process.
“The police are continuously conducting their investigations on these crimes, but we admit there is a considerable delay in bringing the culprits before the law, when it concerns special probing bodies like the Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division”.
A number of files relating to completed investigations await legal action at the Attorney General's Department, which should be expedited through a special legal system.
“We know there is a slow progress in the judicial system when finalizing these cases and that is why the present government intends to introduce a special judicial system to expedite these particular large-scale financial frauds,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, IGP Pujith Jayasundara said although Udayanga Weeratunga was arrested in Dubai, he should be brought back to the country to conduct relevant investigations, including recording statements from him.
However, Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said that it has been easier to negotiate with the Singaporean authorities than the Dubai officials, as the former co-ordinate with the Interpol. (Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana)