Airbus deal: Kapila Chandrasena, wife granted bail | Daily News


Airbus deal: Kapila Chandrasena, wife granted bail

Former Sri Lankan Airlines CEO Kapila Chandrasena and his wife Priyanka Niyomali Wijenayaka, who were held in remand custody over financial irregularities said to have been committed during the deal between SriLankan Airlines and Airbus SAS for the purchase of aircraft in 2013, were yesterday ordered to be released on bail by Colombo Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake. The suspects were released on a cash bail of Rs. 2 million and two sureties of Rs.20 million each. The Magistrate further ordered them to surrender their passports to the Court. The Magistrate also ordered them to report to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on the last Sunday of each month between 9a.m. and 12 p.m.

The two suspects have been accused of obtaining a commission of US$ 2 million and laundering money to a bank account maintained overseas, when negotiating an agreement to purchase 10 Airbus aircraft for SriLankan Airlines. According to CID investigations, it was revealed that the US$ 2 million had been transferred to a bank account maintained in Singapore.

Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake had earlier issued warrants to arrest of Kapila Chandrasena and his wife. The two suspects had never revealed anything regarding these bank accounts through their statements. Investigations are almost over.

The investigations have revealed that EADS HQ/SSC FRANCE, the parent company of Airbus SAS had remitted US$ 2 million to a bank account belonging to Priyanka Niyomali Wijenayaka, the wife of former SriLankan Airlines CEO as a bribe or a gratuity.

Investigations have further revealed that the concerned amount of money had been deposited in a bank account maintained by a company named Biz Solutions belonging to Priyanka Niyomali at Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore.

It was revealed that Biz Solutions had been registered under the name of Priyanka Niyomali Wijenayaka, as the only director of the said company. However, some money had been remitted to two accounts in Sri Lanka and two accounts in foreign countries from the Singapore State Bank.

Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige appearing on behalf of the Attorney General’s Department informed the Magistrate that the deposited sum of the US$ 2 million had been remitted to a few other accounts here and an amount of euro 160,000 had been remitted to an account belonging to SL Agro Private Company. DSG Thusith Mudalige further told the court that CID had obtained statements from two directors who have worked for that company.

“According to the statements given by one of the directors, he mentioned he received money through his bank account due to his friend called Yohan Alfred Abeyrathne. The CID had revealed that the above person had died due to a heart attack,” DSG Thusith Mudalige added.

DSG Mudalige stated that investigations had revealed that a sum of US$ 400,000 had been deposited in a bank account owned by Sabre Vision Holdings. The Company was owned by Nimal Hemasiri Perera and the CID recorded a statement from him.

“Nimal Perera has mentioned in his statement that he is unaware about those monetary transactions,” DSG Mudalige added. President’s Counsel Anuj Premarathna and President’s Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetty who appeared on behalf of Kapila Chandrasena and his wife pleaded their clients be granted bail.

After taken into consideration, the Magistrate observed that the prosecution has failed to demonstrate as to how the suspects could influence the investigation though they claimed that they can directly influence the witnesses. The Magistrate fixed further inquiry for April 29.

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