Central Bank Bond Scam: A new twist in the saga

Central Bank Bond Scam: A new twist in the saga

Central Bank Bond Scam: A new twist in the saga

Written by Lahiru Fernando

12 Jul, 2017 | 6:31 am

We have been reporting on the Central Bank Bond Scam constantly since day one. The story of the scam, which allegedly cost the nation billions in money, took a brand new twist  on Tuesday, July 11.

A senior figure at the Employees Provident Fund, Saman Kumara, was interdicted by the Central Bank on Monday, July 10. The matter was revealed by the Attorney General’s Department at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry.

Evening of July 11 – Among many entering the commission premises, was one who signed to log book as ‘Saman Kumara’.

We then found out, through a source close to the commission that this individual was, in fact, the same Saman Kumara from EPF. He had arrived to provide a statement to the detectives assisting the commission.

The background conversation which took place in a particular phone call to the EPF by Pan Asia Banking Corporation was another highlight.

The phone call

Before the phone is picked up by Saman Kumara, the dealer at Pan Asia was heard saying “the EPF acts as if it is not aware of anything”.

Another was heard saying “maybe the EPF has not got confirmation as yet”.

The phone is then picked up by Saman Kumara. When the PABC dealer gives the rates, Saman Kumara immediately says that he will buy the securities offered.

The twist? -the Attorney Generals Department pointed out that this conversation is staged to make it look PABC is attempting to make a sale to EPF.

According to the witness, two employees from the Corporate Banking Section and Margin Trading were fired in March 2017, for acting on the instructions of Nimal Perera (Former Chairman of PABC) to release funds.

After this move, the witness also had a fear of losing his job.

Following the leak of a Central Bank internal report on the bond issue, Dhammika Perera – the largest share-holder of PABC had asked if Dias had done anything wrong.

Richie Dias had dismissed any wrongdoing and said that PABC only earned a marginal profit while serving as an intermediary.

He said he met Arjuna Aloysious on the June 30, as he had pleaded to meet.

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