Attorney-at-law Eraj de Silva appearing for the United National Party, submitted to the Supreme Court that the proposed Tax Amnesty Bill is akin to an invitation for money launderers and drug dealers to seek protection under the proposed Amnesty Regime.

De Silva made these remarks when the eight Special Determination petitions challenging the constitutionality of the proposed Finance Bill were taken up for hearing before Supreme Court.

De Silva stated that laws like the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Suppression of Terrorist Financing Act, Bribery Act and Illicit Traffic of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act are vital safeguards existing in law against such offences.

However, he submitted that provisions proposing absolute secrecy in respect of a Declaration made seeking Amnesty coupled with other provisions of the Act dangerously allow circumvention of these laws.

He said that while on the face of the Bill it appears that these laws are not excluded from the operation, the ambiguity in the provisions providing Immunity together with secrecy provisions allows money launders and drug dealers to seek protection from such laws using the proposed Tax Amnesty Scheme.

Whilst associating himself with the submissions of other Counsel he made it clear that the UNP does not intend to scuttle the Bill but only wants to ensure that Sri Lanka does not become a destination for converting black money


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