Former Petroleum Industries Deputy Minister and former Chairman of Development Lotteries Board (DLB) Sarana Gunawardena was yesterday ordered to be remanded till September 18 by Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne. This is for alleged misuse of a state vehicle valued over Rs.8 million, while he was serving as the Chairman of Development Lotteries Board during the previous regime. Former Deputy Minister was arrested by Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) over offences he is alleged to have committed under Public Property Act.
The CCD alleged that former Deputy Minister Gunawardena had continued to serve in the tender board of the DLB contrary to the Lottery Board Act even after being elected to parliament in 2008 and being appointed as a deputy minister. Police further alleged that the suspect had imported this luxury vehicle; valued at over Rs 8 million and authorities are yet to trace the vehicle’s whereabouts. The Magistrate ordered to remand the suspect till September 18 citing that there are no exceptional circumstances to release him on bail. President’s Counsel Anil Silva with Jayantha Dias Nanayakkara appeared for the suspect. On July 20, former Petroleum Industries Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardena who pleaded guilty in two corruption cases filed against him by Bribery Commission had been ordered to pay a fine of Rs.2000 by Colombo Chief Magistrate.