More explosive revelations in Bond auction probe | Sunday Observer

More explosive revelations in Bond auction probe

The CID made several startling revelations in its investigations into the controversial February 2015 Treasury Bond auction informing the courts last week that the former Central Bank Governor’s credit card bill to the tune of Rs. 3.2 million had been paid by W.M. Mendis and Company, a subsidiary of Perpetual Treasuries – the company linked to his son-in-law.

In its explosive revelations last week, the CID also named another top politico as having taken money from a company linked to the dubious primary dealer.

The CID told court on Thursday (7), that the first suspect in the case, Arjuna Mahendran had received a payment of Rs. 3.2 million from Perpetual Treasuries, the company at the centre of the Bond scam. The cheques came from an account maintained by W.M. Mendis and Co at the Bank of Ceylon. The amount was paid in three cash cheques in January 2016, April 2016 and May 2016.

According to the CID B report the former Governor allegedly handed the cheques over to his Secretary, who in turn handed it over to an office assistant named Roshan Sanjeewa for encashment.

This money, the CID told court, had been used subsequently to settle Mahendran’s credit card dues. According to the CID B report submitted to Court, Amila Indiwari Dahanayake who was Secretary to the former Central Bank Governor said in her statement that she had been given instructions by Mahendran to identify personal expenses made using his personal credit card and settle the dues using the money obtained from the cheques.

Meanwhile, dropping a second bombshell in court the same day, the CID revealed that Sujeewa Senasinghe, current State Minister for International Trade was the second recipient police could confirm as having received cheques from W.M. Mendis and Company, linked to Perpetual Treasuries. CID told court that its investigations revealed that he had received funds amounting to Rs.3 million in three occasions.

The visibly shaken state minister was selective with his words, when he addressed the media on Friday (8). Senasinghe admitted that his campaign had received a donation from W.M. Mendis and Company, shortly after the last parliamentary elections. However, he said he had had no knowledge of the transaction.

“We seem to have come across a small tsunami. The truth will always prevail,” he said.

Throughout he explains a campaign is run with many volunteers involved.

“There were professionals who supported my campaign, docs, lawyers, etc. I am more involved in participating in meetings and engaging with the people, there are volunteers who help us. And they are the ones who handle the financing,” the minister explained.

However, B report filed in court states that the cheque number 101139 dated 2015.08.24, was given to Sub Inspector Priyantha Vipula of the Ministerial Security Division, who encashed the cheque the following day at Bank of Ceylon, LakeviewBranch. According to the sub inspector’s testimony, he had handed the cash over to the State Minister directly.

The subsequent two cheques issued on March 31 of 2016 and November 2015 had been encashed by the security on the advice of Amal Ravindranath Dias, who is identified as the campaign manager in the B report.

Amal Ravindranath Dias in his statement to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) states that he had no knowledge of where the donation cheques was received from but that it was used for campaign purposes and no record of its spending was kept.

“I am in no way alienating responsibility but I must emphasis that the connection between the two companies; PLT and W. M Mendis and company was not known to me. These monies were received by my campaign and were used for election purposes, not for my personal use, the state Minister said.

He further highlighted the fact that he had not done anything illegal, stating that campaign finance was not regulated and there are no specific laws preventing from taking donations or making it mandatory to reveal or find out where the donations come from.

Speaking on his involvement in COPE which conducted a special investigation into the Treasury bond scandal, the State Minister went on to state that he had acted very impartially during the time when COPE was investigating the bond issue.