Former Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva said that the Financial Transactions Reporting Act, No. 6 of 2006, was the specific piece of legislation which initially applies when investigating the crime of money laundering and not the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, No. 5 of 2006.

The money has to initially come to a bank and it is from a bank that it gets sent to another institution and here we must first see whether the initial source is a tainted one in order for the crime to fall within the purview of being defined as money laundering, he added, noting that it was the Central Bank and not the Police in the form of the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID), which had a branch that possessed the expertise to track the source of money in such instances.

Company law recognizes as persons only shareholders and directors and the chairperson is a figure appointed by the directors, he highlighted.

The absence of a proper Opposition has made a mockery of the democratic process, he mentioned, adding that the Opposition must be given their due place.

“The government is initiating processes and throwing stones without knowing where and what it will hit. The government should say this is what we are doing and this is the law we have in mind before opening up the matter to the public. This is a confused and ludicrous state of affairs with no clear direction, line of action or focus. We are placing the cart before the horse. The Government must put out a white paper,” Silva remarked.