Former ETI Finance directors remanded
Posted on January 9th, 2021

Courtesy Adaderana

Former Directors of Edirisinghe Trust Investments (ETI) Finance Limited, who were arrested yesterday, have been remanded until the 12th of January.

The order was delivered by Colombo Additional Magistrate Ruwan Nelumdeniya when the suspects were produced before courts today (January 09).

Last evening, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested four former Directors of ETI Finance – Nalaka Edirisinghe, Jeewaka Edirisinghe, Anjalee Edirisinghe and Asanka Edirisinghe – acting on the directives issued by Attorney General Dappula de Livera.

The suspects were taken into custody on charges of criminal misappropriation, cheating, money laundering and other offences.

During today’s proceedings, Senior Deputy Solicitor General Haripriya Jayasundara told the court that the ETI Finance has defrauded deposits worth over Rs 13 billion.

As per the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to probe the matter, the directors of ETI Finance have violated the sections of penal code pertaining to fraud, criminal misconduct, criminal breach of trust, and money laundering, she noted.

Senior Deputy Solicitor General further stated that the ETI Finance had maintained undisclosed accounts which were not subject to Central Bank regulations, since 2011.

Nearly 43,000 depositors had already deposited money in ETI Finance by then, she added.

In response to a question raised by the Additional Magistrate as to why the Central Bank did not halt ETI Finance from accepting deposits, the Senior Deputy Solicitor General said the Central Bank had advised the company to operate under its regulation, in accordance with a restructured plan, as the Central Bank could not take responsibility of all depositors and there were already a large number depositors had already deposited money in the institution.

However, the ETI Finance had defrauded money while continuing to accept deposits in violation of the restrictions imposed by the Central Bank, she noted. The directors of ETI Finance have utilized the money defrauded from the depositors for renovating cinema halls, purchasing vehicles and charity events, she said further.

In this backdrop, the Central Bank had appointed a Board of Management in 2018 to manage these institutions and halted accepting of deposits, the Senior Deputy Solicitor General said, noting that the total sum of money owed by the ETI Finance to depositors stands over Rs. 13 billion.

Raising objections to granting bail to the suspects who had defrauded billions, the Senior Deputy Solicitor General appealed to the court to remand them in order to prevent possible pressure on witnesses.

Presenting submissions, the defence attorneys, meanwhile, requested the Additional Magistrate to release their clients on bail.

However, taking into account the submissions by the prosecution and the defence, the Additional Magistrate ordered to remand the four suspects until the 12th of January.

On January 05, the Attorney General had directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to conduct a criminal investigation against the Directors of the ETI Finance and Swarnamahal Jewellers Ltd. pertaining to their involvement in operating an unauthorized finance business.

Accordingly, Jeewaka Edirisinghe, Anjalee Edirisinghe and Asanka Edirisinghe were arrested on the same day by the CID, acting on further directives from the Attorney General.

Nalaka Edirisinghe, the fourth suspect in the case, had surrendered to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) the following morning. 

However, they were all released on bail by the Colombo Fort Magistrate on January 06.

Investigations are being carried out over the unauthorized acceptance of deposits worth billions of rupees, misappropriation, and money laundering, according to Attorney General’s Coordinating Officer said.

The Attorney General has also decided to forward indictments against the Directors of Swarnamahal Jewellers for conducting an unauthorized finance business.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2022 All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress