We are informed by very reliable sources that Onyx a company owned by Nandana Lokuwithana is said to have Bid 400 million USD to buy the cement company apparently only valued at 200 million USD.
Nandana Lokuwithana: Who is he?
Nandana Jayadewa Lokuwithana, is a Dubai based Sri Lankan businessman, and alleged front man of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapakes. He is an unheard of bankrupt villager from Nattandiya. Lokuwithana, is more popularly known as the ‘Sri Lankan who bought the Mariott Hotel in Dubai’. It is widely believed that this hotel belonged to the then ruling family of Sri Lanka. It is reported that Rajapaksa had invested heavily on properties in Dubai through Lokuwithana, and was introduced to Rajapaksa by his one-time loyalist, Sajin Vass Gunawardena.
He later bought the Ceylon Heavy Industries and Construction company (CHICO) (Sri Lanka’s former Ceylon Steel Corporation) for US$ 77 million at the invitation of the Rajapaksa regime.
Lokuwithana has also been named in the Panama Papers released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). In the Panama Papers, Lokuwithana is connected to one entity by the name of ‘Nilona Fashions’ which was incorporated in December 2000 and is within the jurisdiction of Seychelles, incidentally another hotspot where the Rajapaksas are alleged to have hidden their assets.
He is currently been investigated by the FCID and the Bribery Commission and we have been told that facts have been reported to court.
Why owns these properties?
Onyx Industries FZC is a company based in Sarjah. Onyx employs about 60 people at its Sharjah facility and mainly imports and trades steel products from China for construction industry. Onyx is said to be the owner of the JW Marriot Hotel in Dubai.
Marriott Hotel Dubai is renowned for its luxury hotel rooms, exquisite restaurants, and elegant meeting room spaces. Set in the city's business district, just ten minutes away from Dubai International Airport.
It is believed that these businesses have far more income that they actually generate and is used as fronts for his money laundering operation.
Nandana Lokuwithana is said to have strong links with China and we are also made to think that whether this is another chines bid in an intension to get in to Sri Lankan ports. We are told by a close source that Mr. Lokuwithana has had many meetings recently with Chinese companies at his luxury hotel in Dubai.
Some time back, FCID had filed a B report (B35/15 MC) in which it is said that they have begun investigations in to complaints about a sum of USD 48 million invested in the Steel Corporation and a sum of USD 190 million invested in the Marriot Hotel in Dubai, and that the owner of these properties, Nandana Lokuwithana, is only a front man. “The B report states that the FCID had commenced this investigation in response to an anonymous letter which had been referred to them.
The general public in Sri Lanka is frustrated regarding the time taken and the lack of any charges against these culprits who have allegedly squandered large amounts of public money.
An internal source said “These investigations take time as it is very difficult to gather evidence as these businesses are based in Dubai”. It is widely known that Dubai is a safe haven for this sought of activity.
Offer to buy Holcim Lanka:
Onyx has put in a bid to by Holcim Lanka for USD 400 million. We are informed that he has given a comfort letter from a State Bank of Sri Lanka to the effect of 400 million USD. How did he get a letter from a state bank? One might ask. He has apparently deposited 200 million USD in the said Bank and taken the letter against that deposit and the money held for the Steel Corporation.
Piyadasa Kudabalage, former MD/CEO of Litro Gas a front man and close ally of Former Presidents Secretary Gamini Senarth is said to have been instrumental in organizing the Bank letter. Kudabalage was a member of many Boards in Government owned companies during the past regimen.
The Sri Lankan Government which was elected on a Good Governance platform would have to look in to this very carefully and earnestly. Because now it is not Banks based in Dubai which are being used by these launders but our own State Banks. The FCID should freeze these accounts immediately and look in to the source of funding very carefully. As there would be no excuses as this is in their own back yard and in a Government owned Bank.
These people should not be granted amnesty just because we need some Foreign Exchange. We elected this government to Prosecute such people not to protect them. They should not be allowed to use State machinery to continue with there debauchery. These funds should belong to the Sri Lankan Peolple not to Onyx or Nandana Lokuwithana.
Onyx is not buying a cement company but a complex machinery to continue laundering money.