After nine long years in remand custody, alleged fraudster Chandana Weerakumara alias Sakvithi Ranasinghe is out on bail.
According to our court reporter, Ranasinghe was released on a cash bail of Rs. 500,000 in addition to two sureties of Rs. 2.5 million each by Colombo High Court Judge Dhammika Ganepola.
Ranasinghe was charged with three counts. The first was in connection with a company called Sakviti Housing and Construction where investors had poured in Rs 1, 260 million. The investors allegedly did not get any money in return.
The second charge was for running a fraudulent Finance Company without permission from the Central Bank.
The final charge was possession of forged Standard Chartered Gold Visa cards.
In addition to these, he also served a two-year jail term for bigamy.
Ranasinghe was a well known English tutor who had made a name for himself regularly appearing on national television with an English-training programme he presented.
Once police caught wind of his fraudulent activities – having swindled some 2,800 people of their life’s savings – a warrant was issued for his arrest. However, Ranasinghe managed to slip through the fingers of the authorities and make his way to India in 2008 together with his then-wife Kumari Anuradhini.
Upon their return to the country two years later, Mr. & Mrs. Ranasinghe were arrested in Nawagamuwa. The couple’s two children, too, were taken into protective custody.