Financial Times

Bribery Commission finalizing probe in LMS deal

The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption is close to concluding investigations into corruption allegations in the controversial privatization of Lanka Marine Services (LMS), its Deputy Director General Ms. L. Jayawickrama said.

A decision on the findings of the investigations will be taken by the Commission soon after it receives the report from the investigators, she said, declining to comment however on the progress of the investigation.

Statements of former Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera and Chairman of John Keells Holdings (JKH) Susantha Ratnayake among others have been recorded.

The Commission began the probe based on many issues raised in the COPE (Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises) report including the failure to appoint a Cabinet approved Tender Board., the selection of DFCC Bank by PERC without competitive offers to do a business valuation of LMS and without the Chief Valuer’s valuation.

The Supreme Court had earlier asked the Commission to conduct investigations and act on the Court's findings – following a fundamental rights case -- on the LMS deal which it declared was invalid, null and void. The Court held that the entire process of the sale of shares of LMS to John Keells has been done without lawful authority.

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