Sri Lanka PM meets CB Governor for action on pre-2015 bond deals

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had met Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy on starting a forensic audit on bond sales before 2015 and preserving documents, his office said.

A Presidential Commission of Inquiry has recommended a forensic audit on bond sales before 2015 and trades made by the Employees Provident Fund which is also managed by the central bank.

Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy had told the Prime Minister that a local or foreign firm is being sought to carry out a forensic audit.

The central bank came under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe when he came to power in 2015.

Under his watch what is said to be the biggest securities scam in the history of Sri Lanka took place when a series of rigged bond auctions allowed Perpetual Treasuries, connected to the son-in-law of sacked Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran.

The firm made billions of rupees of profits by selling bond bought cheaply at rigged auctions to the EPF and other state funds at high prices.

The Presidential Commission had recommended civil and criminal action and claw back of profits made by Perpetual.

Bribery charges were also asked to be filed against then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake who resigned after it came to light that Perpetual Treasuries had provided an apartment for his family.

Wickramasinghe had earlier come under fire for not taking action when a parliamentary committee reported on the scam and for seeking to re-appoint Mahendran amid a public outcry. (Colombo/Jan05/2018)





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