Sri Lanka’s EPF dealers paid millions by Perpetual Treasuries: bondscam inquiry
ECONOMYNEXT – Dealers at Sri Lanka’s Employees Provident Fund and other entities have been paid millions of rupees by Perpetual Treasuries, a primary dealer in government securities, a Presidential inquiry into a securities scam has revealed.
An Employees Provident Fund dealer identified as ‘Charlie’ has been paid 94 million rupees between July and December 2014, before the so-called ‘bondscams’ started after a change of government in January 2015, a report on the proceedings of a commission of inquiry on Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror newspaper reported.
Nuwan Salgado, is a dealer at Perpetual Treasuries, the firm at the centre of what state attorneys say is Sri Lanka’s largest securities scam.
Perpetual is alleged to have bought bonds at high prices at rigged auctions dumped them on EPF managed by the Central Bank. Salgado was quoted as saying that up to September 2015 ‘Charlie’ was a dealer named Udayaseelan and after that it was Saman Kumara.
Salgado had maintained a list of payments made to dealers at several state firms, through Perpetual group companies including Perpetual Asset Management and W M Mendis and Perpetual Capital, the Daily Mirror reported.
On March 2015 a 3.0 million rupee payment had been made to ‘Charlie’. Other codenames included up to March 2015 was ‘Tango’ and ‘Car’.
In the dealing room, Nuwan Anuradha, who worked at state-run National Savings Bank had been referred to as ‘Wolverine’.
Perpetual Treasuries is connected to ex-Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran’s son-in-law Arjun Aloysius. Mahendran denied wrongdoing when questioned before the commission.
Before Mahendran was appointed to the Central Bank, it was headed by Nivard Cabraal. His sister Siromi Wickramasinghe was a director of Perpetual’s parent company. She had also denied wrongdoing.
Ex-Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has resigned following allegations that the rent on an apartment he was living was paid by Perpetual. He has denied wrong doing as the transaction was made by his family members and that the money has been re-imbursed. (Colombo/Oct13/201 – update 2)