15-year wait for depositors
By Quintus Perera
Aggrieved depositors of Hideki Finance and Investments Ltd who have waited patiently for 15 years for their monies after the company collapsed and its directors fled abroad, will have to wait longer to get their balance dues.

Depositors allege that Hideki directors, back in Sri Lanka, have now mortgaged the office property to Japanese parties even though it was expected to be sold under a court decision and the funds used to pay depositors.

A spokesman for the Non-Banking Unit of the Central Bank, told The Sunday Times FT they had also heard reports of this nature and were in the process of investigating the matter. "If this is true we would have to get a ruling from the Attorney General". Under an earlier decision, the bank and Hideki directors had agreed to sell the building and settle the depositors' dues.

His response came after the newspaper received a letter from a depositor, Mr. D. de Alwis of Mattegoda, Kottawa, saying the matter has dragged on for 15 years and depositors "are in the dark as to what steps the Central Bank is taking to recover these monies."

He said some depositors had also died probably due to the mental agony over the loss of their life long savings and income. The Central Bank spokesman said although the case ended three years ago Hideki directors couldn't sell the property due to depressed market conditions. "The situation has improved now," he said, adding however that the latest development may further delay the sale.

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