Mahapola Trust Fund incurred Rs. 673 mn loss from online lottery | Daily News

Mahapola Trust Fund incurred Rs. 673 mn loss from online lottery

The Mahapola Higher Education Scholarship Trust Fund had not received Rs. 673 million from the sale of an online lottery of the Mahapola Trust Fund sold through another intermediary.

This fraud came to light at the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), a release issued by the Parliament Communication Department said yesterday.

COPE Chairman Prof. Charitha Herath directed Trade Ministry Secretary Bhadrani Jayawardena to inform the Attorney General and refer the matter to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) for a formal inquiry  as this was large-scale corruption when the COPE met in Parliament on January 8. State Ministers Susil Premajayanth, (Dr.) Nalaka Godahewa, MPs Eran Wickramaratne, Nalin Bandara Jayamaha, Premnath C. Dolawatta and S.M Marikkar were present at the meeting.

In addition, due to insufficient capital gains on securities transactions of companies under the Mahapola Trust Fund, in 2015 and 2016 losses amounting to Rs. 18 million and Rs.102 million have been incurred respectively. It was also revealed that a loss of Rs.13 million has been incurred during the repurchases made using investments in National Wealth Corporation in 2017. The Committee stressed that these irregularities had caused huge losses to the Fund. Officials said Cabinet had approved the liquidation of these institutions as it was useless to continue running at a loss.COPE Chairman Prof.Charitha Herath said that although it would not be a problem to liquidate after punishing the culprits, it would not be appropriate to liquidate these institutions without proper investigation in such a large-scale fraud. Accordingly, after conducting a proper study on the irregularities with regard to the National Wealth Corporation and the National Wealth Securities Corporation, the companies under the Mahapola Trust Fund, both the institutions should be summoned before the COPE as soon as possible and the liquidation should be delayed until these irregularities are properly monitored, the COPE recommended. The current situation of the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) was also discussed. The committee expressed displeasure over the fact that even though the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) had been summoned before the Committee, it had informed COPE through Julius & Creasy law firm that it is not legally obligated to do so. COPE decided that Julius & Creasy should be summoned first to resolve the matter.