Sri Lanka freezes bank accounts of Perpetual group firms over securities scam: report

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s central bank has frozen bank of accounts of Perpetual group of Arjun Aloysius to prevent the siphoning off of money gained from a securities scam, a media report said.

Sri Lanka’s The Sunday Times newspaper said the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank had ordered banks to freeze the accounts of firms related to Aloysius, who a commission of inquiry found to have engaged in insider deals in the bond market.

The central bank had earlier frozen accounts of Perpetual Treasuries, a primary dealer that bought bonds from rigged auctions and dumped them at high prices on the state managed entities including the Employment Provident Fund of private citizens managed by the Central Bank.

The commission had found that Perpetual Treasuries was making payments to dealers at the EPF, from at least 2014.

Aloyisius’ father-in-law Arjuna Mahendran was central bank governor from 2015 to 2016.

The President commission of inquiry recommended that assets of the "beneficial owners" of Perpetual Treasuries Arjun Aloysius and his father Geoffrey Aloysius as well as CEO Kasun Palisena should be placed "under lien".

The Commission fund that the ultimate owners of most Perpetual group companies, through Perpetual Holdings were Arjuna and Geoffrey Aloysius.

The Commission said the assets to be frozen included all monies lying to the credit of Perpetual Treasuries at the Central Bank and other banks, shares of National Development Bank and dividends of 641 million rupees already paid to shareholders.

In addition Perpetual had also bought share in Central Finance and Lanka Ashok Leyland.

The commissions said legal action should be taken to recover ill-gotten gains of Perpetual Treasuries, which required the "appropriation and liquidation of the shares held by Perpetual Treasuries Ltd in NDB; and the appropriation and liquidation of other assets of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd."






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