Criminal charges were filed before the Colombo Fort Magistrate Court over Suresh Edirisinghe, Director, Auto Group International (Pvt) Ltd, today (20) on the allegations of embezzling Rs. 56.6 million by the sale of a Cadillac Escalade, without responding to government taxes and other fees and evasion of registration for 5 years.
Purnima Edwards, the party that bought the vehicle, filed the complaint against Edirisinghe alleging fraud of Rs 56.6 million and criminal breach of trust.
In the illegal vehicle transaction took place in July, 2016, the buyer had withdrawn an amount Rs. 56.6 million from their private account for the purchase.
Seeking bail, the suspect appeared before the Colombo Fort Magistrate Court today (20) through his lawyers. Edirisinghe's laywers informed the Court that their client, who is having a heart condition, had undergone a surgery with five stents, seeking bail subject to any conditions due to the Covid-19 situation in the Prison Sector and throughout Sri Lanka. Imprisonment is said to be threatening his life depending on the health condition, the laywers noted.
The officer appearing for the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) before Court expressed his objection over the bail request, in the emphasis that investigations have not yet been concluded on the case. Meanwhile, lawyers appearing for the aggreived palintiffs told Court that the suspect would have escaped without appearing before Court in any event he is granted bail, reminding that he had fled on previous occassions in the guise of false promises.
The suspect had previously deceived the buyer by making false promises of the same nature, they disclosed.
The plaintiff's lawyers further noted that Edirisinghe the suspect was not cooperating with the investigation and was violating the country's law by waving his civil power, thereby requesting not to grant him bail.
Given that the questionable vehicle is in the possession of the suspect, he should never be disassembling the vehicle, they emphasised.
Bail granted under strict conditions
Given considerations to all facts laid down before Court, the Magistrate granted bail on a number of conditions including two sureties of Rs. 1 million each.
Accordingly, the suspect's passport was subject to confiscation with a travel ban. His vehicle was placed under the strict supervision of the CID, allowing inspection at any given time. Edirisinghe was ordered to produce a statement with the CID and assist in the investigation as soon as possible.
Suresh Edirisinghe the suspect informed the court that he would like to settle the case by paying Rs. 40 million.
The hearing adjourned for further trial on February 23, 2021.