Business Times

GK fraud case to drag on for indefinite period

The Golden Key (GK) fraud case will drag on for an indefinite period as the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probe into the horrendous 26 billion-rupee fraud and a separate probe by the Central Bank have still not been completed, Attorney General (AG)’s department sources said.

The AG is yet to file indictment against former Ceylinco chief Lalith Kotelawala and other directors of GK and two other subsidiaries despite the crisis exploding 18 months back in December 2008. Kotelawala and his co-directors are all out on bail after a period in remand. A senior official of the AGs department told Business Times that the nature of the financial fraud was very complicated and sometimes it may take even five years to file charges while the preliminary inquiry at the Mount Lavinia Magistrate Court is continuing.

He added that investigations into this type of white collar crimes are time consuming and it needs expertise to dig into the financial fraud committed in a very sophisticated manner using credit cards, Internet money transfers and money laundering.

He revealed that attention has been drawn to filing charges against Lalith Kotelawala and the other suspects in a single case. However that would be on behalf of all depositors with the GK.

When finalised, the suspects would be indicted in the Colombo High court under Section 388 of the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust; under Section 386 for embezzlement and Section 398 for fraud, he said. Kotelawala’s wife, Sicile, as Deputy Chairperson of Ceylinco Consolidated, is equally culpable in this white collar crime, he said. Sicile is currently said to be in Singapore.

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