Ravi’s penthouse bought from funds without origin

28 July 2017 09:00 pm - 28     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Rs.145 million used in making the initial payment of Rs.16.5 million and thereafter to pay the monthly loan installment of Rs.11 million for the controversial purchase of the Monarch Residency Penthouse in Colombo by a company owned by Minister Ravi Karunanayake's family, has no origin nor has it been accounted for according to what was revealed at the PCoI today.

Testifying at the inquiry, Chief Financial Officer of the Global Transportation and Logistics Pvt Ltd (GTLPL), Mr B.R. Chinnaiya explained the manner in which the Monarch Residencies Penthouse had been purchased.

The witness, who has 36 years of experience in the banking field had been also appointed to the Board of Directors of the BOC in 2015 by the then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake for a period of one year.

* ASG Yasantha Kodagoda hints at money laundering

* Rs.145 million unaccounted money in GTLPL Chairman Lakshmi Kanthan’s safe

* GTLPL Chief Financial officer B.R. Chinnaiya makes startling revelation at inquiry

It was earlier revealed that Minister Karunanayake and his family occupied a Penthouse at the Monarch Residencies for eight months on a lease basis and the monthly lease rental of Rs.1.45 million was paid by Arjun Aloysius.

Subsequently the penthouse had been purchased for Rs.165 million by GTLPL, in which Minister Karunanayake’s wife Mela and daughter Onella were directors.

According to the witness, the GTLPL has two major share holders, 30% acquired by a foreign company headed by the GTLPL Chairman and 70% owned by a company known as OSM Holdings, in which Ms. Karunanayake and their daughter Onella are directors.

The witness said he was instructed by these two directors to obtain a loan and purchase the Penthouse in July 2016 for the use of the Chairman and the family or to be uses when foreign guests are required to be accommodated.

The witness said he then negotiated with the Seylan Bank for the loan but had no negotiations with the price at which the GTLPL would buy the apartment.

It was told that there was an advance payment of Rs.16.5 million had to be paid to the owner of the Penthouse.

However, it was revealed during the evidence that the GTLPL did not have that much money in there account at the time.

He said directors Ms Karunanayake and daughter Onella, instructed him to get the Rs.16.5 million from the Chairman’s safe at the company and pay the initial payment as they had obtained his permission to do so. Mr. Chinnaiya said there was Rs.25 million in the Chairman’s safe.

Later, a loan of Rs.150 million had been granted by the bank on a mortgage to buy the Penthouse.

It was also revealed that the witness had told the bank that the Company wished to buy the Penthouse to rent it out and the rental payment would be directly allocated into the repayment, though it never happened.

The GTLPL agreed with the bank to repay the loan in 15 installments of Rs.11 million each.

The witness said nine installments had been paid so far using the liquid cash available at the Chairman’s safe at the GTLPL.

In a shocking revelation, when he was questioned about the origin of the money, the witness said Chairman ‘Lakshmi Kanthan’ who resides in Britain had arrived at the Company on two occasions in February 2016 and 2017 and dumped cash amounting to Rs.145 million in the Chairman's safe.

The witness said that the Chairman had handed him Rs.70 million to be kept in the safe in February 2016 and later another Rs.75 million had been given in February 2017.

It was revealed that the witness had accepted the cash on the two occasions and it had not been supported by any documentation or receipt issued to Mr. Kanthan neither were there any entries in the GTLPL accounts books regarding these two cash inflows.

It seemed that the Commission and the Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda who led the evidence were shocked with the comment of the witness and continued to question him about the origin of the money.

The witness said he never questioned his Chairman Kanthan over how the money was generated.

Justice Prasanna Jayawardena and Justice KT Chithrasiri asked the witness on what basis, being a prudent banker himself, had accepted the money by not verifying its origin. And the Commission also questioned the possibility of the practice that such a large amount of money being kept in a safe without allocating it to the business.

ASG Kodagoda was also of the view that there could be criminal aspects, such as money laundering, deriving through such practices.

On being questioned by the ASG, the witness said the Chairman's safe was of medium size and that he had brought the money in two parcels to be placed in the safe.

Adding some amusement to the query, ASG Kodagoda commented, “the chairman’s safe is like a Perpetual Treasure Box”.

Refering to the statement of accounts presented by the witness of the GTLPL, Justice Jayawardena also questioned the witness relating to the Rs.145 million given by the chairman. The witness was unable to find such an entry in the company's statement of accounts.

The ASG finally explained to the commission that the initial payment of Rs.16.5 million and the installment of Rs.11 million for nine months had been paid from the money (Rs.145 million) placed in the chairman’s safe by Mr. Kanthan himself, while the origin of that money was not reflected in any documentation. (Shehan Chamika Silva)

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  Comments - 28

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  • makalu Saturday, 29 July 2017 09:06 AM

    Royal thieves of RW, like Arjun Mahen. It is much better to beg

    Mercedes Saturday, 29 July 2017 09:15 AM

    "Neela malai thiruden" alias "Ali Baba" alias "Thief of Bagdad".

    Mohan Saturday, 29 July 2017 07:23 PM

    Ali Baba was not a thief. Read the story properly.

    Perumal Saturday, 29 July 2017 09:33 AM

    He is in the frying pan and will soon find himself in fire proper. Lalith would have been ashamed of his own blood, if he had been alive today.

    happy Saturday, 29 July 2017 12:36 PM

    Lallith should be happy

    John Sebastian Saturday, 29 July 2017 10:01 AM

    Yahapalanaya willblame MR for this also. Mister Clean also must be getting a commission.

    Asoka Saturday, 29 July 2017 11:13 AM

    Ravi started his political carrier by cheating to Athulathmaudali family. From there onwards he did nothing good for the betterment of the country instead stealing money from every area he worked. This country will never go forward with politicians like Ravi.

    Mela Saturday, 29 July 2017 04:48 PM

    absolutely correct

    Rasheed Friday, 04 August 2017 10:25 AM

    I wonder why PM is still appointing him as Minister knowing very well that he is No1 rogue.

    Raj Saturday, 29 July 2017 11:19 AM

    Ayyooo, these guys do not know how to do HORA WEDA! Must take lessons from Ex-regime!

    Banda Saturday, 29 July 2017 11:37 AM

    We all know who crooks are

    Bakaladasa Saturday, 29 July 2017 11:58 AM

    Another of those Grandma Daisy's bagful of gems?But this time it's real I'm afraid!

    Patriot Saturday, 29 July 2017 11:59 AM

    Wow! :)

    sss Saturday, 29 July 2017 12:06 PM

    may be a part of the money came from his vandalizing the CWE

    Smart Aleck Saturday, 29 July 2017 12:27 PM

    MONEY LAUNDERING (in capitals).

    Mahindsa Raja Saturday, 29 July 2017 12:39 PM

    The Supreme Court decision on Nawaz Shariff should be a reminder and lesson to the Government! It is time Ravi K steps down

    ceylon Saturday, 29 July 2017 12:52 PM

    stupid news.news writers must say news truthfully.still defendent not said anyting.some one said something and news made judgement.jungle judgement. via DM Android App

    Sunil Saturday, 29 July 2017 01:03 PM

    How nice. As the best finance minister of South Asia he is quite adept at creating money from nothing.

    Nihal Amarasekera Saturday, 29 July 2017 01:06 PM

    Enough enough send them to Pakistan, there is a vacancy, RW

    Mason Saturday, 29 July 2017 01:35 PM

    What have the President and Prime Minister to say about this master crook in their cabinet. Will the President say that he asked the Pm to remove Ravi but he did not, and the Pm to say that Ravi has not been proved guilty beyond any doubt. !!

    LION Saturday, 29 July 2017 02:25 PM

    rouge was cought with his pants down. Can we ever imagine during Mara this kind of thing will happen.

    OBSERVER Saturday, 29 July 2017 02:37 PM

    MASTER OF THIEVES AND A MAN OF MR.UNCLEAN.

    ceylon Saturday, 29 July 2017 02:47 PM

    iresponsible news.any one can say in inquiry.finaly judgement will be there aftet found all truth. via DM Android App

    laksiri Saturday, 29 July 2017 07:41 PM

    current president must remove his white cloth and wark to his village if he is unable to remove this minster and arrest him ,this is a joke and if they do not carry out proper investigation and arrest all the people it is better open entire gates of all the jails in the country and treated all the people in the equal manner under law. Ranil -CURRENT PRIME MINISTER WHO CRAYS EVERY DAY FOR CRIME AS LEAN MAN needs to understand what is meaning of money laundering ,drug dealing and t money,if not all the people who voted needs to eat grass for their food and needs to feed rice to cow,

    Peter Saturday, 29 July 2017 07:43 PM

    what , this is only his share form the profit (more correctly loot), he is not an amateur is this field, last time he finish off Sathosavery well.

    malij Saturday, 29 July 2017 09:19 PM

    Surly Ravi must be having a Grandmother by the name Daisy.

    cineha Saturday, 29 July 2017 09:38 PM

    The former finance minister's Pandora box is being opened......await 2nd for his baba talk...Hic...hic..

    CITIZEN Tuesday, 01 August 2017 10:39 AM

    There can't be 2 different rules. The Government should take over the property like in the case of Basil's.


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