Treasury Bonds Auction Probe PTL’s ex-Chief dealer makes startling revelation Says over Rs 90 M paid as bribes for Info

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By 2017-10-13

BY Kavindya Chris Thomas

Startling new evidence surfaced at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing the Treasury Bond auctions of the Central Bank, yesterday. It was revealed that Perpetual Treasuries Ltd., had been bribing informants in order to receive confidential information from State institutions.

Returning to the dock once again, the former chief dealer of PTL, Nuwan Salgado, conceded that, since its inception, PTL has made payments of over Rs 90 million, to several informants, in exchange for price sensitive confidential information from several State institutions, including the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

Salgado was giving evidence based on a document, provided by the Attorney General's Department, showing a number of payments made by Perpetual Treasuries Ltd., (PTL) to its other companies in the group. Salgado capitulated that he had updated and maintained this document during his tenure at the PTL, on the verbal instructions from Kasun Palisena - the CEO of PTL.

The document also records payments made to three individuals under the aliases 'Charlie', 'Car' and 'Tango', who had been referred to as informants. Salgado noted that he had entered this reference. He added that Palisena had also seen the document but claimed he was unaware that the three individuals were informants.

Here, Salgado identified the individual referred to as 'Charlie' as PTL's primary contact at EPF. He noted that the code name had not changed even though the primary contact had been replaced twice and added that the code names were used to ensure anonymity. Salgado added: "I don't know why the payments were paid. Many things gave me the idea that they would have given sensitive and confidential information in exchange."

The document also records 18 such payments between 17 July 2014 and 30 December 2014.

Commissioner, Supreme Court Justice Prasanna Jayawardene, at this point noted that according to this information, the PTL has paid over Rs 90 million to informants since the establishment of the company. Salgado agreed.

Commissioner Jayawardene: "From this information, it appears that PTL has bribed informants for confidential information since its inception."

Salgado: "It would seem so, my lord."

Salgado was also asked if he knew the identities of 'Tango' and Car' and whether they refer to other State institutions, which he was unaware of.

He noted that the previously discussed alias 'Little Johnny' was a reference to Employee's Trust Fund and its primary contact while the alias 'Wolverine' was in reference to the National Savings Bank and its primary contact.

PTL counsellor Kalinga Indatissa will cross-examine Salgado on the new evidence today.

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