Police officers would be sent to Dubai soon to bring former diplomat Udayanga Weeratunga back to the country, Minister of Law and Order Sagala Ratnayaka said yesterday, addressing a public meeting at Mawarala, in the Matara District.
“Our diplomatic mission and the Foreign ministry are currently working with the Dubai authorities in this regard,” the Minister said, alleging that Weeratunga, who was wanted in connection with the MIG investigation, was travelling with an invalid diplomatic passport.
“His diplomatic passport was cancelled by the government as he was no longer in a position to use one. But, we got to know that he was still using the invalid diplomatic passport,” Ratnayaka said. “The Police alerted several countries to arrest Weeratunga. As a result, the former Sri Lankan Ambassador was arrested in Dubai on Sunday.”
Earlier Interpol had issued an international warrant to arrest him in October 2016. Sources said that Weeratunga would be handed over to Dubai police. He has been accused of involvement in the controversial purchase of MiG-27 fighter jets from Ukraine in 2006.
Weeratunga was also accused of supplying weapons to anti-government forces in Ukraine. In January 2017, the Colombo Fort Magistrate suspended 16 bank accounts of Weeratunga with a balance of USD 1.5 million. The Magistrate also instructed Attanagalle and Colombo Land Registrars to prevent the sale of Weeratunga’s properties found by the FCID. These include a plot of land worth of Rs. 25 million in Dompe, Gampaha and a luxury apartment worth Rs. 29 million in Borella.