Former Directors of ETI Finance Ltd Jeewaka Edirisinghe, Asanka Edirisinghe, Nalaka Edirisinghe and Deepa Edirisinghe were further remanded until January 15 by the Colombo Chief Magistrate.
When the case was taken up before Colombo Chief Magistrate Mohammed Mihar, Senior Deputy Solicitor General (SDSG) Haripriya Jayasundara informed that the ETI and Swarnamahal had faced a serious financial crisis in 2012 but had continued to accept deposits even after the Central Bank regulation.
“By the time the Central Bank appointed a Financial Management Board in 2018 to take full control of the two institutions, ETI had liabilities of Rs 6.4 billion and Swarnamahal Rs 7.2 billion,” she said.
She further explained that the total deposits of Rs. 13.6 billion had been maintained by these institutions as undisclosed accounts in a manner not subject to the Central Bank regulation.
Accordingly, the SDSG Jayasundara said that these former directors had committed the offences of fraud and breach of criminal trust mentioned in the Penal Code.
She also pointed out that the suspects had also maintained black money which is an offence under the Money Laundering Act in maintaining accounts not disclosed to the Central Bank.
“The suspects had not paid the Rs. 13 billion owed to the 43,000 depositors of the two companies but had privately bought vehicles worth Rs. 33.2 million and also spent money on their private work,” she informed the Court.
Meanwhile, President's Counsel Anuja Premaratne, appearing for the suspects said that although they had informed the Central Bank in 2012 that a serious financial crisis had arisen in those institutions, the Central Bank had not carried out a proper regulation since then.
PC Premaratne further stated that the Central Bank had not instructed the public or depositors not to deposit money in the institutions considering the state at that time.
In such a situation, PC Premaratne requested that his clients be granted bail under any conditions.
After considering the facts, Colombo Chief Magistrate Mohammed Mihar stated that the order on the bail application will be issued on January 15. (Yoshitha Perera)