|Golden Key: Rs 14 billion misappropriated, 5 billion missing
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|Author:||Guest [ Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:43 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Golden Key: Rs 14 billion misappropriated, 5 billion missing|
Golden Key: Rs 14 billion misappropriated, 5 billion missing
"Of the Rs.26 billion reported to be deposited with the Golden Key Credit Card Company Rs. six billion had been invested in related companies while Rs. one billion appeared to have been used for illegal payments. Sicille Kotelawala one of the Golden Key Company directors had left the country on January 1 and was now in Bangkok. Magistrate queried as to why the CID which had its office just a few kilometers away from the Ceylinco Group headquarters was unable to serve summons or prevent her from leaving the country."
Saturday, January 31, 2009
@ DM / By Susitha R. Fernando and Ananda Weerasuriya
In a shocking revelation based on a CID investigation into the Golden Key credit card scam, the Attorney General yesterday informed Court that Rs. 14 billion had been misappropriated while Rs. 5 billion had gone missing.
Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate Harsha Sethunga was informed that of the Rs.26 billion reported to be deposited with the Golden Key Credit Card Company Rs. six billion had been invested in related companies while Rs. one billion appeared to have been used for illegal payments. The AG told Court that the company was yet to present a statement of accounts.
“It is surprising that a group of companies having under its wing a computer software manufacturing company does not maintain a set of accounts,” Deputy Solicitor General Sarath Jayamanna said in courts. He said some of the documents needed for the investigation were in former Chief Executive Offier Khavan Perera’s room and the cupboards were locked. He asked for an order to bring Mr. Perera from prison to the Golden Key office to get the files. Mr. Jayamanna said Sicille Kotelawala one of the Golden Key Company directors had left the country on January 1 and was now in Bangkok.
At this stage the Magistrate queried as to why the CID which had its office just a few kilometers away from the Ceylinco Group headquarters was unable to serve summons or prevent her from leaving the country. Mr. Jayamanna said representatives of all the parties including Golden Key company directors and depositors be summoned to the AG’s Department on Monday to discuss how the depositors were to be repaid.
Counsels Romesh de Silva with C. R. de Silva appearing for Lalith Kotelawala agreed to meet the AG and once again assured in court that all the depositors would be paid back using the assets of the other companies in the group. Counsel Anil Silva appearing for the second suspect Khavan Perera informed court that his client had being unfairly treated by the refusal of bail.
Mr. Silva said public agitation could arise because of Mr. Kotelawala and not because of his client who had paid pack Rs. one billion between October and December and arrangements had been made to pay back a further Rs.1.3 billion by selling more assets including an ENT hospital and Seylan bank shares. He asked Court that Mr. Perera be granted bail. Counsel Upali Gunaratne who appeared for Golden Key Company Finance Director Saradha Sumanasekara also made an application for bail on behalf of his client.
Counsel Anuja Premaratne appearing for another suspect Manoj Chaminda said his client was not an employee of Golden Key and the investigation was based on some vouchers he had given to the police. Mr. Premaratne alleged there was information some of the CID officers who were investigating this matter had acted in a questionable manner.
On behalf of the depositors, Counsels Anura Meddagoda and Rohana Fernando informed court that a list of the depositors and a list of the assets had not been forwarded so far though two discussions were held to prepare a scheme to pay back the depositors. They asked court to prepare a practical scheme to settle the money deposited with the Golden Key Company.
DSG Jayamanna objected to bail and Khavan Perera should be held responsible for what happened and as the CEO of the company, he had started 49 other companies using fuunds from the Golden Key Credit Card Company. “The suspects have even bought properties in other countries and that the other suspects were granted bail as they are needed to settle the depositors,” he said.
The Court ruled that a meeting with the AG should be held on February 2 to discuss a scheme to pay back the depositors and directed that a report on the repayment scheme be produced on February 13.
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