In response to the Sri Lanka’s President Sirisena accusing Singapore of not cooperating with them on an extradition request of a man wanted in Sri Lanka to face charges of a massive trading scam, Singapore authorities have clarified that they are already working on it.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) responded to media queries, saying that they are working with their counterparts in Sri Lanka on the extradition request of Sri Lanka’s former Central Bank Chief, Arjuna Mahendran. MFA says they’ve even working together since January, which is when President Sirisena claims to have reached out to PM Lee Hsien Loong.
Mr Mahendran, now a Singaporean Citizen who was born in Sri Lanka, is wanted for his role in a massive US$74 million insider trading scam. Widely reported in Sri Lanka, Mr Mahendran is alleged to have cost the state a loss of over US$11 million via manipulation of bond auctions in 2015 and 2016, collaborating with his bond-dealer son-in-law to do so and make millions in profits in the process.
Earlier this week, AFP reported that President Sirisena claimed that Singapore is being uncooperative in terms of Sri Lanka’s extradition request. He told said at a launch of an anti-corruption drive in Colombo that PM Lee ensured him that Singapore will take action but have yet to respond to this calls.
He added that Interpol issued a red notice for the arrest of Mr Mahendran but the Singapore authorities are still not taking action. An Interpol Red Notice usually published at the request of a member country but isn’t not an international arrest warrant.
The MFA spokesman clarified that Sri Lanka’s extradition request lacked certain information that is required under the extradition laws. As such, Singapore has requested for the necessary supporting documents but Sri Lanka has yet to provide them.
“This was acknowledged by the government of Sri Lanka. To date, Singapore has not yet received the requested supporting information and documents,” he said.
“We look forward to receiving the requested information from Sri Lanka, so that we can consider the request further in accordance with our laws.”
The spokesman added Singapore doesn’t usually comment on extradition requests given the confidential nature. However, seeing as President Sirisena commented publicly on the case of Arjuna Mahendran, it was necessary for MFA to ‘clarify and correct certain inaccurate information’.