The Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) is on the lookout for Gamini Sedara Senarath, Chief of Staff of the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and three others over a string of alleged fraudulent acts. The three others are Piyadasa Kudabalage, Neil Bandara Hapuwinne and Mohan de Alwis.
FCID detectives said yesterday that the four were evading arrest and hence, they had obtained a court order impounding the passport of the main suspect, Gamini Senarath, to prevent him from leaving Sri Lanka.
The four persons now sought after — together with another two nominated by the Treasury — have been on the board of directors of Sino-Lanka Hotel and Spa (Pvt.) Ltd. It is the owning company of the Hyatt Hotel now nearing completion at Kollupitiya.
Detectives said yesterday that the foursome were also directors of Canvil Golden (Pvt) Ltd. and Helanko Hotels and Spa (pvt). Ltd.
Sino-Lanka Hotel and Spa (Pvt.) Ltd. had obtained money from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) besides Litro Gas, a subsidiary of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation and the Insurance Corporation itself. This was after the Board of Directors had approved it and the Attorney General had given his okay.
Thereafter, the Central Bank’s Monetary Board had granted approval on condition that Canvil Holdings could utilise EPF funds. However, the Monetary Board had placed a condition that work related to the construction of Hyatt Hotel should be completed before they could embark on any other hotel project.
Accordingly, Canvil Golden Holdings had received Rs 18.5 billion from three different sources and transferred the money to Sino Lanka. It had come from Insurance Corporation (Rs 8.5 billion), Litro Gas (Rs 5 billion), EPF (Rs 5 billion).
The Board of Directors of Canvile Golden Holdings had only approved an alleged payment of Rs 500 million to Sino Lanka. Thereafter, the same Board of Directors had authorised the transfer of Rs 3.5 billion to Helanka Hotel and Spa (Pvt.) Ltd. contravening the conditions placed by the Monetary Board of the Central Bank.
Investigations have revealed, detectives say, Helanko received a total of four billion rupees even before the Board of Directors of Canvell Golden Holdings approved the transfer of funds to Sino-Lanka.
They also said that a project for a Hyatt Hotel in Hambantota had been launched but was abandoned after the present Government came to power.
About Rs 312.2 million has been spent on preliminary work. FCID sources said there were also a number of other allegations of fraud.