Sri Lanka arrests ex-president’s son over money laundering


Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse’s second son was remanded in custody for two weeks after being arrested Saturday on a charge of money laundering, police and court officials said.

Navy officer Yoshitha Rajapakse, 27, was taken into custody by authorities for questioning about dealings at his private television channel, Carlton Sports Network (CSN), police said.

Yoshitha, a navy lieutenant, was taken before a magistrate court in a suburb of Colombo and remanded for two weeks, a court official said, adding that four other suspects were also remanded along with the former president’s son.

Among the four was Nishantha Ranatunga, a younger brother of Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga. Nishantha had been the chief executive of the CSN channel that secured broadcasting rights for all cricket matches.

The arrests followed months of investigations into the CSN station, which is accused of illegally using government equipment and vehicles for its daily operations and failing to pay billions of rupees in taxes.

Yoshitha is the closest family member of former president Rajapakse to be arrested. In April, authorities arrested Rajapakse’s younger brother Basil who had been economic development minister under his sibling.