PM ensures the independence of FCID

PM ensures the independence of FCID

May 11, 2015   12:47 pm

Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe on Monday (11) said that the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID), which came to effect in February through an extraordinary gazette notification, is only a functional division of the Police Department, which was established in response to the emerging trend of serious financial frauds.

Prime Minister also assured that the Government guarantees the independence of the investigations carried out by all the law enforcement agencies in the country including the FCID and denies any sort of undue political intervention to the enforcement of law.

Issuing a statement he said “there are 64 functional divisions in the Police Department such as Terrorist Investigation Division, Criminal Records Division, Criminal Investigation Division, Colombo Crimes Division, Narcotics Bureau, Child & Women Bureau, Fraud Investigation Bureau, Environment Protection Division etc. In fact, most of those divisions were not there at the very inception of the Police Department. Those divisions were established from time to time to cater to the contemporary trends, in the same manner the FCID was established. No any special statutory power or mandate has been given to the FCID other than the powers vested with the Police Department. The purpose of establishing this division is to employ the services of experienced group of officers to handle investigations on financial crimes of grave nature and expedite those investigations. 

Anti-Corruption Committee (ACC) is a Cabinet Sub-Committee headed by the Hon. Prime Minister, which was setup as per a decision taken at the Cabinet meeting held on 21.01.2015. This Committee was setup with a view to recommending measures to be adopted to prevent the occurrence of large scale corruption and frauds in future. On the recommendation of the Anti-Corruption Committee and the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers a dedicated Secretariat named Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat was also established to coordinate the investigations of the allegations on serious frauds, financial crimes and corruption. 

It should be noted that the Financial Crimes Investigation Division of the Police Department or the Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat are not controlled by the Cabinet Sub-committee on Anti-Corruption by any means, although the progress of the investigations carried out not only by the FCID but also by the other law enforcement agencies is reviewed once a week so as to ensure effective law enforcement,”

However, National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa while speaking at a recent press conference said that reasons unknown as to why the FCID continues to turn a blind eye to Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran who is in the spotlight due to the controversy surrounding the Treasury bond issue. The NFF leader also pointed out the FCID should arrest the CB Governor over the Treasury bond issue in the first place, if it continues an unbiased method of investigating.

It was also revealed that the President was unaware concerning the establishment of the newly formed police unit. The FCID has been established through a subcommittee appointed by the Prime Minister. The FCID most of the time drew attention to probe and interrogate complains with respect to the close associates of the former government.

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