The CID uncovered another stack of 424 counterfeit 5,000 rupee notes and two printing machines hidden inside a house in Ethul Kotte early morning, following the arrest of a suspect Rolitha Perera who allegedly gave Ms Dulanjalee Premadasa Rs.2 million in counterfeit 5,000 rupee notes on Tuesday evening.
The details of the incident came to light after the CID questioned Ms Premadasa for nine hours and arrested the suspect identified as Prishantha Rawlin Perera (48). Perera had allegedly been involved in a number of business ventures in which Ms Premadasa had also invested.
Investigators said the suspect was arrested at the Cinnamon Gardens branch of the HSBC bank, when the CID team came to investigate the counterfeit notes, on notification from the bank.
The suspect at the time of arrest, had a cheque which he was going to deposit in a real estate company account where Ms Premadasa had purchased a house sometime back.
She had been paying the company in installments but recently there had been a delay in depositing the installments.
With the real estate company prodding her for the payments, Ms Premadasa had asked for her profits from the investment made with Perera, following which he had given her Rs. 2 million as profits, in counterfeit notes.
Investigators believe that he may have come to the bank soon after Ms Premadasa came to deposit the money, suspecting that the counterfeit notes would be detected.
Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said the suspect was an IT genius and he had been doing this on his own. “That is, based on what we have gathered so far by questioning him,” he noted.
“We do not know to how many other individuals he gave such counterfeit notes to, so we are investigating that too,” he said.
“What we know is that he and Mrs. Jayakody (Ms Premadasa) were friends and therefore she had made an investment in one of his companies of which most were focused in the garment industry,” he added.
He said the counterfeit 5,000 rupee notes were smaller in size and did not contain much of the prominent features one would find in an original Rs. 5,000 note.
“There is a watermark. If you expose it to the light, you can see a 5,000 rupee mark,” SSP Rohana further stated.
Currently the suspect Prishantha Perera is being held under detention orders by the CID which is further investigating into his links and previous transactions.
SSP Rohana said in 2013, the CID found 311 counterfeit 5,000 rupee notes, 1002 counterfeit 2,000 rupee notes, 2733 counterfeit 1,000 rupee notes and 1088 counterfeit 500 rupee notes.
This year the CID had been able to find 429 counterfeit 500 rupee notes out of 2,838 such notes printed and distributed by a suspect in Battaramulla.
Meanwhile, the managing director of a garment factory was remanded, until April 3, by the Colombo chief magistrate over the former’s having allegedly given 400 counterfeit Rs 5000 notes to Dulanjalee Jayakody, the daughter of former president Ranasinghe Premadasa.
The suspect Rolitha Perera was arrested on Wednesday following a complaint to the CID by the Cinnamon Gardens branch of the HSBC, after Mrs. Jayakody attempted to deposit the notes which the bank had found to be fakes.
On being questioned Mrs. Jayakody had told the CID that she had received the notes from Mr. Perera in repayment of a loan.
Prishantha Rawlin Perera