Priyamali distributed cash among actors and actresses | Sunday Observer
During Covid-19 pandemic:

Priyamali distributed cash among actors and actresses

6 November, 2022

Two more accomplices of Thilini Priyamali, who was arrested for financial fraud were taken into custody by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) this week. Among them is Ven. Borella Siri Sumana Thera, a bhikkhu who has claimed he attained arahath hood and Janaki Siriwardena a powerful businesswoman in Sri Lanka.

Ven. Siri Sumana Thera resides in the Samadhi Aranya in Kadawatha located on a one acre plot of land. The bhikkhu known for his fair skin was arrested by the CID after it was revealed he too was connected to Thilini Priyamali’s fraudulent activities.

He was arrested based on a statement provided by one victim of Priyamali’s illegal dealings. According to the Police Priyamali had defrauded the largest sum amounting to Rs. 750 million from this particular victim. He is said to be a sales agent of an Indian product in Sri Lanka. It is said he has family money and met Piyamali through Janaki Siriwardane, an executive officer of a mixed investment project with India in Sri Lanka.

The duo had allegedly duped the man by showing him a cobra, and claiming it was his dead father. A believer of the occult, the businessman had believed the tale.

They had convinced him that it was dangerous for him to keep large amounts of money at home and he should remove it from the house. All this they said was communicated through the spirit of Priyamali’s mother.

Ven. Siri Sumana Thera was brought to this house several days later by Priyamali, on the request of the businessman seeking her help to save him from this curse. He had mediated there and seemed to be in a trance while he checked all corners of the man’s house based on SMS messages sent to him by Priyamali in a bid to appear as if he knew about the house through his powers. He tells the victim the house is cursed and therefore he should let go of all his assets. The Thera warned he will lose it all if he fails to do so.

The victim had requested help from the Thera to escape this fate. As a temporary solution, the Thera had suggested a ritual be held and the money be collected to a bag to remove it from the cursed house. The bhikkhu had also convinced the man to sell all his other assets and invest the money in Priyamali’s business. In a desperate bid to avoid the curse, he follows the advice given. However, he has now lost all he possessed and he has told the CID he had invested all he had in Priyamali’s business.

She had promised to sell some gold owned by her, now in the possession of Thera, to repay him. However, she had failed to deliver on the promise. But refusing to take no for an answer, he had pressed her for money. As a solution, Priyamali sends him to Ven. Siri Sumana Thera’s abode so that he can show him the gold in his possession.

Showing some gold rods, the Thera had assured the victim it is genuine gold and he would therefore receive the money he invested in her.

However, following Priyamali’s arrest and understanding he had been taken for a ride the victim decided to complain to the CID.

The CID was able to build a strong case against Priyamali through the statement provided by the victim. Information provided by him also lead investigators to Ven. Siri Sumana Thera. Accordingly he was arrested by the Police on November 1, at his abode.

According to investigations the CID has also uncovered that Priyamali had claimed she can communicate with spirits and tricked many other businessmen as well. Ven. Siri Sumana Thera is said to have given her the necessary direction to carry it out. The CID says she had employed a person identified as the Mataramba Kapuwa now under arrest for abusing underage boys to carry out various rituals to develop her business.

She had paid him Rs. 800, 000 for the work. Isuru Bandara, Priyamali’s partner had revealed more information on these acts to the CID as well as other personal traits and habits of the fraudster.

He has accused her of defrauding him as well by giving him ten rods claiming them to be gold. Bandara’s father had uncovered these rods were mere brass only after Priyamali’s arrest.

The Police recovered Rs. 15 million from Bandara’s home in Pilimathalawa among other items such as foreign liquor and a luxury vehicle. Rs. 16 million in his accounts have since been frozen.

While the Police also arrested Kasun Perera, a director of Priyamali’s Thico Construction, popular actress Semini Iddamalgoda was also summoned for questioning over this debacle. The connection between Iddamalgoda and Priyamali was revealed through the details extracted from Priyamali’s phone by the CID.

Iddamalgoda had claimed Piyamali was introduced to her by a school friend. The actress was later seen at many events organised by Priyamali including the launch of a film produced by the suspect woman. She had told investigators that Priyamali had given amounts ranging from Rs. 10, 000 to Rs. 15, 000 to several local artistes during Covid-19.

Iddamalgoda said Priyamali had requested her to provide contact details of artists she can donate the money during that time. Priyamali had donated the money thereafter. She had denied that a voice clip going viral on social media is of one between her and Priyamali claiming she had no illegal business dealings with her.

While two other actresses have also been summoned, they have since failed to present themselves before the CID for questioning.

The other suspect arrested recently was businesswoman Janaki Siriwardane because she was mentioned by many of Priyamali’s victims. She had convinced several businessmen to invest in Priyamali’s business. Former Governor of the Western Province, Azath Salley was one of those who continued to accuse Janaki of being involved in the fraud.

The CID was able to gather the necessary evidence to arrest her from information provided by a young businessman involved in importing mobile phones to Sri Lanka. He had been defrauded of Rs. 40 million by the suspect. He was introduced to Priyamali by Janaki Siriwardene.

The businessman was known to her as she purchased mobiles and repaired them at his business. The businessman and Priyamali had been introduced at her house, when he had arrived to deliver a mobile phone Siriwardane had ordered on behalf of Priyamali.

She had appeared to possess large amounts in dollars and defrauded him promising to give him dollars in return for rupees.

The CID identifying Janaki Siriwardene as a main link in Priyamali’s fraud has now arrested her under allegations of enabling and assisting her to commit her alleged crimes.