Director General of the Media Center for National Security (MCNS) Lakshman Hulugalle, who has been appointed to the board of directors of Commercial Bank, has been ordered a suspended jail term and fined by the Colombo High Court over a timber racket. Details have also surfaced that he is also the respondent in a case related to a fraud of 80,000 Sterling Pounds that is being heard before the Colombo High Court.
He was found guilty of selling timber to the Ethkanda Viharaya in Kurunegala at a price higher than the allocated price. The timber was allocated by the State Timber Corporation. The Colombo High Court found him guilty around 1990 and ordered a two year jail term with a 10 year suspended sentence and a fine of Rs. 20,000.
This fraud was committed when Hulugalle was serving as a director of the State Timber Corporation.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General has filed an indictment before the Colombo High Court in 2000 against Hulugalle for allegedly misusing 80,000 Sterling Pounds given by millionaire businessman Ravi Wettasinghe to the SLFP Fund. The monies have allegedly been taken for personal use by Hulugalle.
Hulugalle at the time had been serving as an advisor to Minister S.B. Dissanayake and Dissanayake joined the UNP in 2001. However, Hulugalle had managed to push the case aside with the change in the government.
It is President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as Finance Minister who has appointed Hulugalle, who has been found guilty by courts of financial fraud and is also the respondent to a case on financial fraud, as a member of the Commercial Bank board of directors.
Hulugalle also serves as the head of the NGO Secretariat where there are large sums of monies.