Lalith promises to pay back depositors

Lalith Kotelawala, Founder Chairman, Ceylinco Consolidated, addressing the depositors of Golden Key Credit Card Company who had been invited to the BMICH to be reassured that their deposits would be paid by next June.

The crowd was too large for organizers to handle. Kotelawala promised to issue a statement of his repayment plan to the media for the benefit of the deposit holders who could not hear him properly. - Pics by Kamal Bogoda.

Lalith Kotelawala yesterday told Golden Key Credit Company deposit holders that their investments would be paid back with interest but asked for time to conduct an audit into the affairs of the credit card company.

He had invited deposit holders to the BMICH to explain Ceylinco Consolidated’s stand on the mismanagement and fraud committed by the Chief Executive Director of the credit card company.

The Founder Chairman of Ceylinco Consolidated said the accounts of subsidiary Golden Key Credit Company would be finalized by January 31, 2009.

Kotelawala met depositors who had gathered in their thousands yesterday at the BMICH where he was able to communicate his assurance to only some of them as controlling the crowd became too difficult to handle.

He told them that one month’s interest would be paid in January while deposits below Rs. 3 million would be paid with interest by the end of February. The rest of the depositors would be paid by the June.

Kotelawala said an audit into allegations of fraud and mismanagement was being conducted and that by end January Ceylinco Consolidated would have all the data it needs to begin settling deposit holders.

He later met the crowd outside but the din was too great for the majority to figure out who said what.

Last Monday, Kotelawala in a statement said the Chief Executive Director Golden Key Credit Card Company had been removed from all positions he held within the Ceylinco Consolidate group after it was revealed he had mismanaged depositor funds and was involved in a credit card scam.

The extent of the fraud will only be known once the audit is completed after January 31, a senior official of the group told The Island Financial Review.

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