Five years have elapsed since Sri Lanka’s largest financial scam, the Central Bank bond scam, took place.
On the 27th of February 2015 – exactly five years ago – deviation from due process and manipulation resulted in the Largest Financial Scam to take place in Sri Lankan history – which is known as the Bond Scam.
The parties embroiled in the scam are :
* Fugitive Ex-Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran
* Perpetual Treasuries Limited
* Beneficial Owner of PTL Arjun Aloysius
* CEO of PTL Kasun Palisena
Many others including Ex-Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Ex-Ministers in the UNP led Government of Good Governance, as well as MPs were alleged to have been involved in the events surrounding the scam and to have obtained pay-offs from the main perpetrators.
Five years ago today, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka advertised for 01 Billion Rupees. However, Ex-Governor Mahendran decided to accept 10 Billion Rupees toning down from his previous decision to accept all the bids, which amount to just north of 20 Billion Rupees.
Perpetual treasuries ended up with the lion’s share of the Rs 10 Billion and part of it was achieved at an extraordinarily high rate.
For two years, the decision was defended by several quarters with the appointment of committees and it was criticized by others, especially by the Parliamentary Watchdog COPE.
While all this was taking place, in March 2016 the second bond scam took place and it is yet to be investigated. The 2016 COPE investigation led by Sunil Handunnetti found Former Governor Arjuna Mahendran directly responsible for the controversial bond transaction.
As nothing transpired Former President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a Presidential Commission of Inquiry in 2017 which found Arjuna Mahendran, Arjun Aloysius, Kasun Palisena, Perpetual Treasuries Limited and relevant officers of CBSL and the EPF are parties to and directly responsible for the offense.
Aloysius and Palisena were arrested and remanded and later granted bail, while Mahendran remains in hiding despite measures for extradition in play.
According to experts, the people of Sri Lanka will have to pay for the sins of the perpetrators for another 30 years as the losses would increase to an amount beyond imagine – despite the immediate loss being north of 600 Million Rupees.
Experts also say the loss of the Second Bond Scam of 2016 will be even greater and disastrous for the Sri Lankan people to cope with.