Friday, February 27, 2009

Kotelawala given ten days for depositor payback

A fortnight after the earlier court hearing of the Golden Key Credit Card Co. Ltd., yesterday the Mount Lavinia Magistrate Court ordered to remand the Ceylinco Consolidation Founder Chairman Dr. Lalith Kotelawala till March 7 over the misappropriation of Rupees 26 billion of deposits of the Golden Key Credit Card Company. This happened to be Sri Lanka’s largest ever financial fraud which even exceeded the value of the Sri Lankan VAT scam that was valued at approximately Rs. 3.5 billion. Chief Magistrate Harsha Sethunga also issued a warrant for the arrest of Mrs. Cecile Kotelawala, a director of Golden Key and wife of Dr. Lalith Kotelawala.

The Attorney General requested the Court to direct Dr. Lalith Kotelawala and the other directors of the Company to refund the funds of depositors deposits amounting to Rs. 26 billion within ten days. Earlier this month the Attorney General informed Courts that investigations revealed the Golden Key Credit Card Company had also allegedly defaulted payment of nearly Rs. 150 million to the Inland Revenue Department.

Approximately 1000 of the islandwide depositors of Golden Key Credit Card Co. Ltd. organised a campaign last Monday (24) in front of the Ceylinco Consolidated subsidiaries located at R.A.D. Mel Mawatha, Colombo 03; starting from the GKCCCL head office.Meanwhile Daily FT learns that still the Golden Key employees are in despair

since they have not been paid the termination compensation package by Ceylinco Consolidated. “We have been discussing this issue since the beginning of this month and now we are heading to meet the legal counsel of Dr. Lalith Kotelawala, Mrs. Thushari Weerasinghe to take up our issue" a senior official from Golden Key Group of Ceylinco Consolidated told Daily FT.

Taking over Ceylinco Consolidated from his father in the 1960s, Dr.Kotelawala expanded the group into new fields Banking, Non- Banking Finance, Investment Banking, Housing and Property Development, Travel and Leisure, Communication and Information Technology, Education and Healthcare and has recently diversified into the field of microfinance. Since then Lalith Kotelawala managed to develop Ceylinco Group to becoming the most diversified conglomerate entity in Sri Lanka along with hundreds of subsidiaries under its umbrella.


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