'Mahanama Asked For Rs. 560 Million: It Was Later Brought Down To Rs.100 Million:' Inside Story Of High-Profile Bribery Arrest

Initial investigations have revealed that Dr. I.K. Mahanama, the Chief of Staff of President Maithripala Sirisena, had allegedly asked for a bribe of Rs. 100 million, Sources within the Bribery Commission said. 

What had been paid yesterday, they said, was an advance payment of Rs. 20 million. An official who has access to the proceedings of the investigation said the rest of the payment was expected to be paid later. 

"During the first stage, the official had apparently asked for Rs. 560 million as a bribe to approve the proposal . Later they had managed to bring it down to 100 million," he said. 

The bribe, according to sources, had been paid by a foreign businessman over a deal involving the Kantale sugar factory. 

The duo had been arrested at the car park of a leading hotel near Galle Face Green. At the time the arrest was made, the two suspects had been counting the money they received from the Indian businessman. 

It has been learnt that President Sirisena has been informed by the Bribery Commission prior to the arrest. The President had informed the Director General of the Bribery Commission to strictly adhere to the law and arrest wrongdoers regardless of the positions they hold within the government. 

Mahanama is the highest ranking government official who has been arrested in Sri Lanka over bribery charges. 

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