Former Sri Lankan envoy to Russia arrested over financial fraud of 7 aircraft for Air Force

Colombo, Feb 14 (PTI) Sri Lankan authorities on Friday arrested a former ambassador to Russia and a close relative of the Rajapaksa brothers over an alleged financial fraud in the purchase of seven MIG -27 aircraft for the country's Air Force.

Udayanga Weeratunga, who is the cousin of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, was arrested and extradited from Dubai following which he was sent into remand till February 17 following a magisterial order issued on Friday.

Weeratunga, who was Sri Lanka's envoy to Russia from 2005-2015 during Mahinda Rajapaksa's presidency, was accused of committing the financial fraud by the previous government of Maitripala Sirisena.

He was evading an arrest warrant issued on October 20 2016 by a Colombo Magistrate, in relation to the investigations.

An Interpol notice was also issued against him, the Colombo Gazette reported. He was extradited from Dubai on Friday morning as a result of the investigation which began under the former regime headed by former president Sirisena and the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. PTI CORR RUP RUP