The FCID yesterday (11) arrested MP Namal Rajapaksa over allegations of obtaining a Rs. 450 million bribe from India’s Krrish Group for signing an agreement for a 650 million USD hotel project at a plot of land near Transworks House, presently being used as the car park for Hilton Hotel in Colombo Fort, and he was produced before courts and remanded. Three politicians and several leading businessmen are involved in this deal. Krrish Group gets the land from the UDA. The related agreement had been prepared by lawyer Sujani Bogollagama for Namal Rajapaksa Associates law firm, owned by Namal.
Namal had sent a SMS message to the then stock market chairman Nalaka Godahewa telling him to accept Rs. 450 million (3.5 million USD) from Krrish Group to give basic approval for the project. Krrish Group has deposited the money in an account owned by Namal in a Singaporean bank. The UDA informed Kriish Group in 2012 that they should be paid Rs. 450 million as per the agreement. The latter responded by saying it had paid all the dues. Over this dispute, the project got suspended. The UDA has imposed a Rs. 550 million fine on Krrish Group. The first exposure came in 2013. There was suspicion that law enforcement officials had been going after journalist Mandana Abeywicrakama at the time to get hold of documents relating to the deal.
In the meantime, on Namal’s advice, Godahewa paid back Rs. 400 million to Krrish Group. The FCID is presently investigating the receipt for Rs. 450 million received by the Singaporean bank and Namal’s SMS message to Godahewa. Godahewa’s paying back of Rs. 400 million to Krrish Group itself makes it clear that this money had been received as a commission for a deal.