Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunge was arrested by Dubai authorities on Monday, Sri Lanka co-cabinet spokesman, Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne disclosed Wednesday.
Answering questions raised by a journalist a the weekly cabinet press briefing held at the Department of Government Information auditorium, the minister said that government officials are now in discussion with the Dubai authorities with regard to handing Weeratunga over to the Sri Lankan authorities.
On March 16, the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court issued an open warrant for the arrest former diplomat, who is absconding, to be executed through Interpol.
The warrant called for his arrest and to produce the suspect before the court immediately.
Interpol last month issued a Red Notice on the former Sri Lankan Ambassador, as a person wanted by the Sri Lankan authorities.
Weeratunga had been evading a warrant of arrest issued on October 20, 2016 by a Colombo Magistrate, in relation to investigations pertaining to alleged embezzlement of public funds to the tune of 7.833 million US dollars with regard to procurement of MiG aircraft and money laundering.
On the basis of a Blue Notice obtained by Interpol Sri Lanka on Mr. Weeratunga, Sri Lanka authorities had been working through mutual legal assistance with a number of countries to trace his whereabouts.
The former Ambassador to Russia and Ukraine was intercepted in the UAE on Sunday February 4, 2018 when he attempted to leave to the United States.
However, he was subsequently released by the UAE authorities, but was prevented from leaving the territory of the UAE until the conclusion of investigations.