(Pic: Saman Mendis)
The Fort Additional Magistrate yesterday remanded Pivithuru Hela
Urumaya leader Udaya Prabath Gammanpila on charges of ‘preparing forged
documents and using them’ to embezzle millions of rupees owned by
Australian millionaire businessman Brian John Shaddick.
The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) of the Police arrested the UPFA
Colombo district parliamentarian yesterday morning and recorded a
statement prior to producing him before the Fort Additional Magistrate
Lanka Jayaratne around 1.00pm yesterday. He was remanded along with
Sidney Jayasinghe, till July 1.
Soon after the arrest, Director SIU SSP Mevan Silva told the Sunday
Observer, “The arrest was made following instructions from the Attorney
General” and added that they were in the process of recording a
statement in the presence of Gammanpila’s lawyer.
The SIU concluded investigations on the case and sought the AG’s
advice to arrest MP Gammanpila.
It has been alleged that Gammanpila used a forged power-of-attorney
to sell Rs.20 million worth of Pan Asia Bank shares held by one of the
companies of the Australian national while being a Director of this
In a separate case it is also alleged that he sold billions worth of
property, including a tea factory belonging to the foreigner.
All charges have been denied by the Opposition parliamentarian.
The investigations were initiated on a complaint to the SIU by the
Australian national Shaddick through his power-of-attorney holder
Lasitha Perera in August 2015.
Shaddick had arrived in Sri Lanka during the 1990s and set up the
Colombo Scrap Metal Company, which is currently renamed and listed in
the Colombo Stock Exchange. He had later diversified his businesses,
setting up more investments in the tea trade earning big profits.
Shaddick had complained that his wealth was embezzled by the
Meanwhile, Gammanpila filed a Fundamental Rights petition in the
Supreme Court on Friday seeking an order to prevent him from being
arrested. He had stated that the SIU complaint was instigated at the
behest of his political opponents.