Frequently Asked Questions

A politically exposed person (PEP) is defined by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as an individual who is or has been entrusted with a prominent public function. This definition is provided under the FATF Recommendations 12 and 22.

Due to their position and influence, it is recognised that many PEPs are in positions that potentially can be abused for the purpose of committing money laundering (ML) offences and related offences, including corruption and bribery, as well as conducting activity related to terrorist financing (TF).

Importantly, recognising PEPs and employing enhanced scrutiny is solely a preventive mechanism and is not intended to construe PEPs as being involved in any wrongdoing. PEPs can be individuals with very high levels of integrity, who are merely classified as PEPs due to the entrusted public function they perform.

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  1. Heads of State / Heads of Government

This category includes information on former and current Presidents and Prime Ministers of Sri Lanka.


  1. Senior Politician

Members of Parliament, Chief Ministers of Provincial Councils, Heads of Local Government Authorities (e.g. Municipal Council) are identified as Senior Politicians of Sri Lanka.


  1. Senior Government Official

Secretaries to the President, Prime Minister and other Ministries, Governors & Chief Secretaries of the Provincial Councils and Municipal Commissioners of the Municipal Councils are identified as theSenior Government Officials of Sri Lanka.


  1. Senior Judicial Official

Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Court are identified as Senior Judicial Officers of Sri Lanka.


  1. Senior Military Official

Chief of Defense staff and the Commanders of tri-forces are identified as the Senior Military Officials of Sri Lanka.


  1. Senior Executive of State-Owned Enterprise (SOE’s)

Chairman, Members of the Board of Directors and the Members of the Senior Management team of the State-Owned Enterprises of Sri Lanka are identified as the Senior Executives.


  1. Family member of above-mentioned categories

Individuals who are related to above mentioned people either as immediate family or through marriage.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was established in 1989 by the Group of Seven (G-7) Summit in Paris.

FATF is commonly called “the most powerful international organisation you have never heard of”. The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

FATF monitors countries’ progress in implementing the FATF Recommendations; reviews money laundering and terrorist financing techniques and counter-measures; and, promotes the adoption and implementation of the FATF Recommendations globally.

Reviewing countries against these Recommendations, FATF recognises jurisdictions with strategic anti money laundering and terrorist financing deficiencies, and clusters them under three lists: Grey List, Dark Grey List and Black List. These listings can attract various financial consequences to the country.

Sri Lanka was a jurisdiction listed on the FATF “Grey List” since November 2017 due to strategic deficiencies in terms of anti-money laundering and terrorist financing. However as of October 2019, Sri Lanka was removed from this list due to the significant progress made in implementing the FATF Action Plan.

You can read more about Sri Lanka’s engagement with FATF here

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Money laundering is the process of making large amounts of money generated by a criminal activity e.g. drug trafficking, smuggling or other forms of organised crime, appear to have legitimate sources.

This is usually by finding a way to control the funds without attracting attention to the underlying activity or the persons involved. Criminals do this by disguising the sources, changing the form, or moving the funds to a place where they are less likely to attract attention.

Money laundering is recognized as an offence in Sri Lanka under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2006.

The Online Register of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) contains profiles of Sri Lankan individuals who fall within the definition of Politically Exposed Person provided by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in their FATF Guidance.

The Register contains information obtained via Right to Information requests, web-based research, and discussions with stakeholders.

As recognized by the FATF, PEPs are individuals who are in positions that can be potentially abused for the purpose of committing corruption, bribery, money laundering, and terrorist financing. It is noted that as a result, it is important that these individuals are recognized, and their transactions subjected to enhanced scrutiny.

Currently Sri Lanka does not have a publicly available database that allows for the recognition of PEPs. Thus, in the public sphere there is a lack of understanding of the importance of identifying and scrutinizing their transactions for money laundering and terrorist financing risks, thereby preventing corruption.

This database seeks to bridge that gap. It is intended to be used forfree by the general public, journalists, activists, analysts and organizations for their information and analysis.

The register has individual and organizational profiles.

The individual profile, depending on position, includes any of the following information,

  1. Name
  2. Date of Birth
  3. Category (e.g. Senior Politician)
  4. Position (e.g. Minister)
  5. Past Positions (e.g. Former President)
  6. Convictions
  7. Pending Cases
  8. Family members
  9. Social Media Links
  10. Relevant District
  11. Name of School
  12. Sourcesf Information

The organizational profiles of Ministries (To Be Updated on Dec. 2019) include the following information,

  1. Name of the Ministry
  2. Details of the cabinet minister, state minister, deputy minister, non-cabinet minister
  3. State Owned Enterprises and their Subsidiaries assigned under the Ministry
  4. Social Media Links
  5. Sourcesof Information

The organizational profiles of State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) includethe following information,

  1. Name of the SOE
  2. Relevant Ministry
  3. Parent SOE (if applicable)
  4. Subsidiaries (if applicable)
  5. Name of the Senior Executives
  6. Designationof the Senior Executives
  7. Profit/Loss Figures (for a given period)
  8. Purpose of the SOE
  9. Sources of information

“State Owned-Enterprise” means any public Corporation, Board or other body, which was or is established under any written law, including the Companies Act, where the Government has the controlling interest. State Owned-Enterprises include the following: –

  1. Commercial corporations
  2. Government owned companies
  3. Statutory boards
  4. Subsidiaries of 1, 2 and 3 above


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