CI Wijenayake said that 211 complaints have been recorded from depositors with deposits in excess of Rs 500,000 at CIFL. The Slave Island Police are also recording complaints, including from those who had less than Rs 500,000 in deposits.
“Even today, somebody who had deposited Rs 5 million, came to the Fraud Bureau to complain,” said CI Wijenayake. “Most of the complainants are public officials who had deposited their EPF and ETF savings with CIFL.”
“A clear picture of how the company had canvassed for deposits is emerging,” he added. “For instance, they would first grant around 15% interest. Then they would increase it to 17%, motivating the clients to deposit more and more money with them.”The police inquiry will take “a considerable amount of time”, CI Wijenayake warned. The Bureau will thereafter seek the Attorney General’s advice on whether this is a civil case (and thereby a matter for the District or Commercial High Court) or a criminal case.
“The issue is that this is a Finance company that is registered with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, and the depositors had taken their interest payments for many years,” he explained. “So we have a problem deciding whether it’s a criminal or civil case.” For the moment, however, the case is before the Fort Magistrate.