Rs. 5 mn paid to US hip hop artistes: Case to be supported on July 26

Tharunyata Hetak, Ceylon Premier Sports Ltd and SEC under probe



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By Shamindra Ferdinando


A payment amounting to Rs. 5 mn made in 2013 to US hip hop artistes to perform in Colombo has been investigated by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID). A case also been filed.


Grammy and Brit Award winner Taio Cruz, Billboard Award winner Sean Kingston and Big Reeno performed at the Carlton Rugby Sevens.


Tharunyata Hetak had obtained Rs. 5 mn from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a project to attract the rural youth to the stock market, according to documents found by the FCID.


On behalf of the youth organisation led by UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa, its Sports Director Ronnie Ibrahim made the request in writing from the then Deputy Director General of SEC Dhammika Manjira Perera. Ronnie Ibrahim, in addition to his role in Tharunyata Hetak had been a director of the Ceylon Premier Sports Ltd responsible for working out the deal with US artistes. Rugby coach Ronnie Ibrahim was also a director of the Carlton Sports Club.


The issue was discussed in Parliament with State Minister of National Policies and Economic Affairs Niroshan Perera explaining the circumstances under which the SEC had released funds for a market promotion programme on a request made by Ibrahim. State Minister Perera was responding to a query raised by JVP MP Sunil Handunetti.


The FCID on Dec. 4, 2015 arrested Dhammika Manjira Perera and Ibrahim in connection with the investigation.


Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, who was the SEC Chairman at that time was arrested on Feb. 7, 2015.


Dr. Godahewa was arrested in the wake of the Supreme Court rejecting a fundamental rights (FR) petition filed by him to thwart the police action.


Colombo High Court on January 21 granted bail to all three. They were released on cash bail of Rs. 500,000 each and two sureties of Rs.5 million each.


The case was taken up again at the Colombo High Court on March 9. The Colombo High Court listed the case for support on July 26.


 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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