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Five remanded over bond scam


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  • Former Central Bank Deputy Governor among arrested 
  • Chairman of PTL and three directors also remanded 



By Manopriya Gunasekara

Former Central Bank Deputy Governor P. Samarasiri and four members of the Board of Directors of Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL), who were arrested in connection with the Central Bank bond scam, were remanded till 5 April by Colombo Fort Magistrate. 

PTL Chairman Geoffrey Aloysius, and directors Pushpamitra Gunawardena, Chithra Ranjan Hulugalle, and Muthuraja Surendran, were arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), along with former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank P. Samarasiri, in connection with the Central Bank bond scam. The CID was not able to arrest the fourth director, who is currently abroad. 

Colombo Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne refused bail for the five persons, noting that although bail could be granted for the offence under which the suspects were arrested, doing so may lead to a serious public outcry, as it has caused serious financial losses to the state. 

The arrests were made in connection with the CID investigation carried out following a complaint made by Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy in 2016, requesting to inquire into a possible insider trading case in the bond issuance by the Central Bank in February 2015. The suspects were arrested under the Securities and Exchange act Article 56A1, the DIG Piyasena Ampawila informed Court, presenting a detailed report on the investigation. 

Senior Deputy Solicitor General Haripriya Jayasundara, appearing for the Prosecution, told Court that former Deputy Governor Samarasiri, as the head of the tender board that oversaw the issuance of the relevant bonds on 27 February 2015, has committed insider trading, while the other four suspects have functioned as directors of PTL during the same time. 

An appeal by Defence counsel, led by President’s Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetty and Lawyer Upul Jayasuriya, to grant bail under suitable bail conditions, noting that the suspects have cooperated with the CID in investigations, was rejected by the Magistrate. 

 


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