EPF prevented from buying bonds in secondary market

Prez probe on CBSL scam

by Shyam Ganewatte and Sarath Dharmasena

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry was told yesterday that the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has been stopped from buying Central Bank bonds in the secondary market.

Restrictions have been placed on the EPF in the wake of Dr Indrajith Coomaraswamy replacing Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran in mid last year.

Coomaraswamy explained that there had been transactions involving the EPF and primary dealers.

President Maithripala Sirisena appointed the Commission of Inquiry due to delay on the part of the law enforcement agencies getting to the bottom of the alleged fraud. The Commission of Inquiry comprises judges of the Supreme Court K.T. Chithrasiri, P.S. Jayawardena and Rtd. Deputy Auditor General K. Velupillai

The ongoing inquiry focuses on the alleged Central Bank bond scam perpetrated in Feb 2015. Primary dealer Perpetual Treasuries as well as the Central Bank are under investigation over the alleged scam.

Responding to lawyers assisting the Commission of Inquiry, Coomaraswamy said that in addition to primary dealers who had been registered with the Central Bank, the EPF was authorized to acquire bonds.

The Commission of Inquiry has been mandated to probe Central Bank transactions between Feb 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016.

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