B. R. Chinnaiya the Chief Financial Officer of Ravi Karunanayakes connected companies said that an amount of 145 million used to purchase the penthouse had no trace and was unaccounted for.
Making a startling revelation before the bond commission drawing inferences of money laundering, Chinaiya said that he was instructed by Mela and Onella Karunanayake, Directors of Global Transportation and Logistics (pvt) Ltd, which ultimately bought the Penthouse at the Monarch to purchase the penthouse with company funds. The balance he was asked to use the “cash from the chairman’s safe”.The penthouse was bought by the Karunanayakes using the company as a front after Arjun Aloysius paid the rent for 8 months.
Accordingly the Chairman of the company, one Lakshmi Kanthan residing in London, had brought in cash amounting to 70 million and 75 million in February 2016 and 2017 to be “dumped into the safe”.
The witness said that the Penthouse was bought on the instructions of the wife and daughter of the minister. The company initially which did not possess the full amount of cash had entered in to a loan agreement with Seylan Bank for an amount of 150 million, which was to be paid by renting the Penthouse. However, the plan of “renting out” the penthouse did not materialize.
The loan had thereafter been serviced with the liquid cash in the Chairman’s safe according to the witness, who said that 9 instalments of 11 million each had been paid thus far.
The testimony drew shock and awe among those present including the commissioners who questioned the witness as to why no alarm bells were rung when undocumented cash was brought to him. The witness said he did not ask the chairman, Lakshmi Kanthan as to the origins of the money.