A discussion has recently been held between top government officials to seek the possibilities of acquiring properties earned illegally by suspects arrested for drug-related offences by the State before those properties are confiscated, a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, officials from the Attorney General’s Department, the Sri Lanka Police, and other officials participated in the discussion held at Temple Trees on Tuesday (15).
The main purpose of this meeting was to discuss the next steps to be taken to prevent criminals who acquire money, vehicles, lands, houses, buildings, etc. illegally, from enjoying such illegally acquired assets and earning further income, even after they are arrested and remanded until the cases against them are concluded and assets are confiscated, it is stated.
The officials who attended the meeting drew the attention of the Prime Minister to taking the ill-gotten wealth and property into the Government’s custody at an early stage before proceeding with the confiscation after the conclusion of the cases against the arrested individuals, the release stated.
The decision to seek the possibilities to take the properties illegally earned by those suspects by the State was taken considering the continuous enjoyment of such arrested individuals of the properties and earnings from those properties for further illegal activities until the cases are over.
Attention has also been paid to amending the Prevention of Money Laundering Act No. 5 of 2006, and also the possibilities of taking action under the existing provisions of the Act has also been discussed.
Further, a decision has been made to take immediate steps to act according to the existing provisions while amending the necessary laws.
Secretary to the Prime Minister Gamini Senarath, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Retd. Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne, Secretary to the Ministry of Justice M.M.P.K. Mayadunne, Acting Inspector General of Police C.D. Wickramaratne, Central Bank Financial Intelligence Unit Director Chanoka Mohotti, Attorney General’s Department Deputy Solicitor General Haripriya Jayasundara, and a large number of officials were present.