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UDAYANGA’S ARREST CONFIRMED

The arrest of fugitive former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga has been confirmed by highly placed government sources as reported exclusively in yesterday’s Daily News.

Weeratunga has been arrested in the United Arab Emirates, following an Interpol Red Notice secured by the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) in connection with the alleged 2006 ‘MiG Deal’.

Following a combined operation by signals intelligence units in Sri Lanka and Abu Dhabi, Weeratunga was traced to a safe house last Saturday, approximately 80 kilometres from Dubai, where the former diplomat was residing before going into hiding last month following the Interpol Red Notice issued against him.

Officers of the Dubai CID acting on the intelligence received visited the location where they found Weeratunga operating a residence and placed him under arrest.

The Interpol Red Notice that led to the arrest was secured by the FCID on the strength of a warrant issued by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne, under which Weeratunga is wanted for charges including money laundering, criminal misappropriation of public property, cheating and forgery for the purpose of cheating.

According to government officials with direct knowledge of these events, discussions are underway at the highest levels to determine the appropriate means through which to secure Weeratunga’s lawful return to Sri Lanka, so that he may answer the charges against him in a fair and impartial judicial proceeding.