Alleged misuse of EPF monies ‘the largest crime ever reported’ to Bribery Commission, says UNP MP
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) illegally invested Employees Provident Fund (EPF) monies in the stock market in order to manipulate the market, resulting in a loss of Rs. 12 billion to more than three million fund members, alleges UNP MP Sujeewa Senasinghe. In a complaint filed on Thursday with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, Mr. Senasinghe urged the Commission to give his complaint top priority, saying it was “the largest crime ever reported” to the Commission.
Mr. Senasinghe charged that the EPF trustees, who were expected to act in the best interests of the fund, had purchased shares from companies “spearheaded by political cronies who are near and dear to the Governor and the other members of the Monetary Board.”
The EPF trustees, members of the Central Bank Monetary Board, are headed by Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, and include Treasury Secretary P. B. Jayasundara, Nimal Welgama, Mrs. Mano Ramanathan, and Neil Umagiliya.
Mr. Senasinghe said Section (5) of the EPF Act prohibited the investing of EPF monies in the share market, adding that two former Attorneys General had advised previous governments against investing EPF money in the share market.
The complainant alleges that the Monetary Board, headed by the Central Bank Governor, had acted in a corrupt manner, taking unlawful benefits and knowing very well that shares in which EPF monies were invested were “drastically crashing”, and did nothing when share values started plummeting, causing a huge loss to the Government.
The complainant alleges that EPF monies were invested mainly in “junk stocks”, where prices had been manipulated and “pumped up” by the “stock market mafia.”
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