By Niranjala Ariyawansha
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) yesterday handed over a petition, to the Bribery Commission, against former Monitoring MP for External Affairs, Sajin Vaas Gunawardane, alleging that he had purchased five aircraft, to the value of Rs 160 million, for his company Cosmos Aviation Services (Pvt) Ltd.
Apart from that, Vaas Gunawardane is said to have defrauded students, ….who enrolled in his company, by charging Rs 1.325 million from each. There had been 120 students who had obliged thus far.
As such, the Voice against Corruption alleged that funds amounting to Rs 162 million, in total, had been defrauded.
They also alleged that Sajin Vaas Gunawardane had owed a total of Rs 170 million to a petrol filling station in Ambalangoda, which he had failed to pay.
Evidence was then adduced in terms of letters to prove that moneys had been paid to a company based in Texas, USA to purchase the aircraft. The moneys had been paid in dollars through the Bank of Ceylon, it was also pointed out.
North Central Provincial Councillor and Convener for the Voice Against Corruption, Wasantha Samarasinghe, whilst making the allegations, had called on the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) to investigate the allegations immediately.
They also called on CIABOC to investigate the allegations of corruption against former Chairman of CIABOC, Jagath Balapatabendi, Chief Justice Mohan Pieris, the EPF fraud, the corruption allegations relating to the Sugathadasa Stadium against the Sports Minister and the allegations against the health ministry.
“Before 2009, Vaas Gunewardane was a storekeeper at a private firm engaged in importing goods. He did not even have sufficient money to purchase a motorcycle. Then, suddenly things changed in 2010 when he started a pilot training institute near Ratmalana. He even had sufficient money to purchase aircraft for his institute. At the time, he had been appointed the CEO of Mihin Lanka,” Samarasinghe has said.
Samarasinghe further called on the CIABOC to investigate the allegations within 30 days as he had reliable information that Sajin Vaas Gunewardane was likely to flee the country. He further claimed that Vaas Gunewardane had offered to crossover and join President Maithripala Sirisena. As such, he had considered fleeing the country, Samarasinghe had claimed.