Written by Tharushan Fernando
05 Feb, 2017 | 8:28 pm
The Voice Against Corruption charged that measures have not been taken over the CBSL Bond Scam, and revealed details on the former governor’s spending
The Voice Against Corruption movement pointed out that by the time the bond scam had become one of the biggest scams, Arjuna Mahendran had already committed several small scale thefts and he has swindled Rs.66 million of public funds from the Central Bank in the country on 163 occasions.
A report compiled by the Internal Audit Department (with details dating up to August 1, 2016) contains details of the dues in the former governor’s overseas travels and his credit card payments while the V.O.A exposed details that the former CBSL governor had purchased a clothing item from Europe worth Rs.2 Mn which has been paid for through ‘such methods’.
There are also payment dues for the former governor’s entertainment expenses as well shortcomings in the payment for ordinary official expenses and also shortcomings in the administrative expenses, immediately after Arjuna Mahendran left, according to the Voice against Corruption
Speaking for the movement, Convener Wasantha Samarasinghe said that the head of the STF was arrested for misusing a sum of Rs.140,000 of public funds, thus in that case, Arjuna Mahendran should be behind bars for this 66 million and that it has been five months since this report was compiled.
Speaking further, Wasantha Samarasinghe stated that these reports not only show the fraud at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, but also the fact that Arjuna Mahendran -Ranil Wickremesinghe’s best friend – used the Central Bank like his company drawer.
“So it is people wearing clean suits and rob the people of their money who are affiliated with Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party government. Arjuna Mahendran has stayed at two hotels in one day. He must have taken an unofficial ‘female assistant’ along with him. Because if it was his wife they could have stayed in one room. This was during an IMF summit in India. He has learnt the art of thievery from birth. Get the bill for two days at the very least”, urged Samarasinghe.
He charged that Ranil Wickremesinghe portrayed Arjuna Mahendran as a clean and pure person and appointed “this foreigner” to run the operations of the Central Bank. But in the end, while the country incurred a massive loss through the bond scam on the one hand, e he swindled 66 million for himself.
Samarasinghe also pointed out that several irregularities had taken place during the administration of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, explaining that Arjuna Mahendran and Arjun Aloysius didn’t start stealing under this government – and did the same thing with the ministers even during the Rajapaksa government.
According to Samarasinghe, the Former CBSL governor and his son-in law, Arjun Aloysius purchased Grain Elevators PLC shares on the stock market for Rs.15 each and then sold it to the EPF at Rs.268.each and even the Mendis Liquor company was bought over by Arjun Aloysius.
According to the Excise Act the tax for each bottle of liqour must be paid every 15 days otherwise the liquor license cannot be extended. But Samarasinghe alleged that Arjun Aloysius’ company is keeping the license with a sum of Rs.840 million due as of January 31, 2016 and now the Finance Ministry is influencing the matter.
He added that Arjun Aloysius is now constructing a liquor factory in Nilaweli and that is being funded while the ministers and MPs of this government have got on to ‘one bandwagon’ and are putting the people in a difficult situation, while they have a jolly good time with the money scammed through the bond issue and the tax money of the country.
“These are the methods they are using to buy over media institutions, newspaper organisations, companies and financial institutions. So we ask, at a time when the law is not being enforced against the corrupt who swindled public funds, under what law has this government opened the doors to convert this money into white money?”, questioned the Voice Against Corruption, with grave concern.
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