GK to seek SC go-ahead to liquidate assets worth Rs. 3.5 b.

As shocking discovery of more hidden wealth continues


The new board of directors of the revived Golden Key (GK) will seek Supreme Court sanction tomorrow (Monday) to liquidate a part of the assets identified so far worth Rs. 3.5 billion belonging to the company, its subsidiaries and former Chairman, Lalith Kotelawala, officials said.

Amongst the key assets are a parcel of 4.7 million shares worth billions of rupees, of which 50% are under the name of Kotelawala, in a leading Ceylinco company, they said.

"We have listed all these assets in a motion to be placed before the Supreme Court when the case resumes hearing on December 2", says Ms. Dushanthi Hapugoda, a member of the GK board of directors.

"Raising Rs. 3.5 billion through the liquidation of these assets will enable us to meet a major part of the Rs. 7.5 billion liability towards depositors", she said.

The quantum of hidden assets of GK and its directors in Sri Lanka and overseas unearthed so far is shocking, she explained. "Billions of rupees had been stashed away".

She said that amongst the latest discoveries is a company called ‘Dial Golden Key’ in the Maldives, where US$ 150,000 and AUS$ 75,000 had been invested in 2008.

Efforts are also being made to take possession of two apartments at Trillium and another at Hyde Park Residencies belonging to Mrs. Padmini Karunanayake, a former GK director, Hapugoda asserted.

In addition, Kavan Perera, who served as Deputy Chairman, owed Rs. 1.6 million to the company, while former directors, Saradha Sumanasekera and Neranjan Fernando had to pay back Rs. 2.6 million and Rs. 900,000, respectively, she said.

"Some of them are demanding proof when they themselves had taken away the files", she charged.She said that only one former director, Suramya Karunaratne paid back the Rs. 3.9 million which was due to GK, on being informed of the pending liability, she said.

The prime De Fonseka Road, Colombo 4 property owned by Mrs. Sicille Kotelawala acquired on a court directive is now up for sale for Rs. 120 million, Hapugoda said. "There are many potential buyers who have shown keen interest".

With depositors with holdings up to Rs. 1 million already repaid Rs. 100,000 each, the next round of settling investors with holdings up to Rs. 1.2 million has already begun, the director noted. "We mailed 500 cheques last week and the balance is expected to be completed in due course".

There are 1,444 investors with holdings up to Rs. 1.5 million and they will all be repaid Rs. 100,000 each as and when funds are raised through the liquidation of assets, she assured. "Since May 2013, we have repaid Rs. 125 million while meeting the day-to-day running expenses of the company".

Hapugoda said that Rs. 186 million was raised over the past six months through the sale of some GK assets including a five-acre property at Hanwella for Rs. 30 million, shares of a Ceylinco company and a fleet of vehicles. "Even old tyres and discarded old papers were sold and the proceeds credited to the account".

"We are positive of making an across the board repayment of Rs. 100,000 each to all depositors as soon as funding issues are sorted out", she said.

She said that Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal constantly monitors the progress as he is keen that all investors are repaid their dues as early as possible".

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