Team returns from Dubai after failing to secure Uayanga’s arrest

A team from Sri Lanka which flew to Dubai to secure the arrest of Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga, have returned to the country empty handed.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Law and Order had said earlier that Udayanga Weeratunga had been evading a warrant of arrest issued on 20 October 2016 by a Colombo Magistrate, in relation to investigations pertaining to alleged embezzlement of public funds to the tune of 7.833 million US dollars with regard to procurement of MiG aircraft and money laundering.

On the basis of a Blue Notice obtained  by Interpol Sri Lanka on Weeratunga, Sri Lanka authorities had been working through mutual legal assistance with a number of countries to trace his whereabouts.

He was intercepted in the UAE on Sunday 4th of February 2018 when he attempted to leave to the United States. This arrest was made on the basis of a ‘Blue Notice’ issued by the Interpol.

The purpose of this notice was to trace and locate Weeratunga ‘as a person of interest in a criminal investigation’. However, as the law in the UAE and the rules governing Interpol ‘blue notice’ prevented the continued detention of Weeratunga, he had been released by the UAE authorities subsequently.

The FCID, which is investigating the allegations and complaints against Weeratunga in Sri Lanka, were working with the Interpol in Abu Dhabi on this case.

The Sri Lankan Embassy in Abu Dhabi had also retained lawyers in the UAE specializing in immigration matters to advice the Government of Sri Lanka on this matter.