When questioned by Justice Prasanna Jayawardena at the PCoI today, PTL CEO Kasun Palisena said he was unaware as to what happened to the dividends amounting to Rs.712 million paid by PTL to its 100% shareholding company Perpetual Asset Management Limited though he himself was also a non-executive director of that company.
Mr. Palisena submitted to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) the declaration of dividends with regard to the PTL and its share holding companies and explained the ownership structure, under which PTL operated.
It was explained that the dividends paid by PTL to its shareholders out of its profits, was generally paid to the 100% shareholder of the Company.
It was explained that Perpetual Capital Holdings was one time a 100% shareholder of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd while its current shareholder is Perpetual Asset Management Limited.
Justice Prasanna Jayawardena: Who owns Perpetual Asset Management
Witness Palisena: Perpetual Capital Holdings
J: Who owns Perpetual Capital Holdings
W: Perpetual Capital Pvt Ltd
J: And who owns Perpetual Capital Pvt Ltd
W: Arjun Aloysius and Geoffrey Aloysius
When President’s Counsel Nihal Fernando appearing for Perpetual Treasuries Ltd said there were changes in the ownership, Justice Jayawardena was of the view that he had never seen such a model of change in the ownership of the Companies.
J: Be that as it may, these dividends paid by PTL to its immediate holding company amounts to Rs.712 million
J: What happened to that money? That money was paid in cash so what happened to it thereafter?
W: That you might have to ask from the Company
J: Are you saying that you don’t know
W: I can check and tell
J: Surely as the PTL CEO you paid dividends to your shareholder, so you should have known what they did with that money right?
While Justice Prasanna Jayawardena was questioning the witness, the Counsel appearing for PTL, were attempting to comment on some questions that Justice Jayawardena put to the witness. Then Justice Jayawardena cautioned them not to comment about those questions and maintain silence when he questioned the witness.
J: So, you would not know what happened to that money
W: I would not know what happened to that money
At this point PCoI Chairman Justice K. T. Chitrasiri asked the witness whether he was currently a non-executive director of Perpetual Asset Management Limited.
Justice Chitrasiri was of the view that as a director of PTL's share holding company and while attending its board meetings he should have known about it.
The witness said he was only appointed as a director after February 2016. However, Justice Jayawardena confirmed that the dividends were paid after February 2016 to Perpetual Asset Management (100% share holding company of PTL).
Justice Jayawardena: Any director would know what happened to that sort of money, so you can tell us what happened to it, where that money went when you come back to the commission today.
Justice Jayawardena said the Commission would appreciate if the witness could assist the inquiry by providing what exactly happened to that money or else the Commission would have to do a search of the audited accounts.
J: I am telling this seriously and don’t want it disregarded, otherwise we will hold you responsible to that.
The witness finally agreed to provide what has been asked by the Commission when he comes back today. (Shehan Chamika Silva)