Racing Sensation Denied Anticipatory Bail
- Japanese Millionaire alleges Dilantha owes USD 320,000 for Lamborghini
- Dilantha Malagamuwa must Surrender to Court on return from Malaysia
- “String of Legal Battles” blocks Dilantha from ‘Driving Off’
By Faraz Shauketaly
Sri Lanka’s lone motor car racing star Dilantha Malagamuwa was refused anticipatory bail by a Colombo Court and asked to surrender to Court on his return to the country.
Earlier the Sri Lanka Police had named him as a suspect in a matter popularly known as the “SIVAJOTHI” case where a Japanese national Yoshiyuki Hayashi alleges that he was defrauded of an amount of Rs 68.4 Million (US$ 600,000). The Japanese multi-millionaire, who acknowledges that he speaks only Japanese and has no knowledge of the English and Sinhalese languages, has a number of cases instituted against various Sri Lankans including his one time confidante and associate, the Sri Lankan motor racing star Dilantha Malagamuwa.
Malagamuwa is expected to participate at the ‘Colombo Night Races’ on December 16 and 17. It is widely expected that he will race in a Lamborghini sports car. The car itself is at the centre of allegations made by the Japanese millionaire who is also an acknowledged classic and racing car enthusiast. In documents seen by The Sunday Leader, Dilantha Malagamuwa appears to have asked for a loan from Hayashi San, to purchase the Lamborghini. Hayashi readily obliges as he is assured that Dilantha will settle the loan within one month. Hayashi’s bankers transferred the USD 320,000 (Rs 36.4 Million) directly to Reiter Engineering the suppliers of the Lamborghini car. Other press reports have quoted Dilantha as saying that Hayashi is ‘sponsoring’ him with the Lamborghini. Hayashi however asserts that his involvement is not that of a sponsor but rather as someone who gave Dilantha a loan to purchase the car. In e-mails seen by The Sunday Leader, Dilantha reassures Hayashi of repayment – even if he has to ‘sell the gems’.
Dilantha Malagamuwa’s legal battles appear to be hitting him as fast as he drives away on the track: in a matter heard by the Colombo High Court a civil case has been instituted against him alleging that he was party to a fraudulent transfer of shares, depriving the Japanese millionaire of his rightful stake in Central Hill Plantations, the owners of the ‘Monte Cristo’ Estate. The fraud alleged in this case stands at Rs 65 Million. Hayashi claims that in spite of his instructions asking that the shares be registered showing him as the beneficial owner, those instructions were violated and that the beneficial ownership was registered to Dilantha Malagamuwa and others.
In a related matter, the Kurunegala Magistrates are hearing the criminal aspect of this same case, where the shares had been deprived from Hayashi. In this matter Sri Lanka Police did not object to the granting of anticipatory bail to Malagamuwa as investigations had not been completed. Nevertheless Malagamuwa was enlarged on bail of Rs 5 Million in cash and two government servants standing as personal sureties.
In another matter where investigations are ongoing, Hayashi has complained that a sum in excess of Rs 200 Million (USD 2 Million) is missing from his bank account maintained at the NDB bank in Kurunegala. He had repeatedly requested for his statements but suspicion has been aroused when it transpired that he did not receive his statements in the usual manner and frequency. In a strongly worded letter to his local Bank Manager, Hayashi warned that unless his statements were made available, he would complain to President Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Minister of Finance.
In a separate matter altogether Dilantha Malagamuwa is cited in a case being heard by the Magistrates in Nawalapitiya. The matter relates to the ‘fraudulent’ occupation of the Monte Cristo Estate for which purchase Yoshiyuki Hayashi had remitted the funds.
Tragedy and controversy has plagued the Malagamuwa family for some years: Dilantha Malagamuwa’s father was murdered on the family estate by a Security Guard who was in their employ. Dilantha Malagamuwa and his mother were asked to leave a house they occupied but which was owned by the deceased President’s Counsel Eardley Perera’s son in law. Again the matter ended up in Court, this time round it was the Kurunegala District Court who ultimately issued the necessary order for the Malagamuwa’s to give the property up to the control of its rightful owners.
Whilst Malagamuwa appears to be quite familiar with the controversy and legal battles, legal analysts congratulated the latest order from the Colombo Courts which refused the anticipatory bail application made by Malagamuwa. Analysts said that if he was granted anticipatory bail, the possibility of ‘justice being seen to be done’ would be a remote possibility as Malagamuwa may well have left the country after the Night Races. However, with the “present order,” which was to refuse anticipatory bail and to order that Malagamuwa surrender to Court upon his return, the Magistrate has ensured that justice will be given a chance”. In this instance the Magistrate obtained a “reassurance” from legal counsel representing Malagamuwa that he will be in Court on the December 14. However, our legal analyst was of the view that even if Malagamuwa did not appear the Counsel would have lost his ‘standing’ and would be “dimly viewed by the legal establishment’. The Magistrate will revisit the application for bail once he surrenders to Court. The previous order to the Controller of Immigration asking that Court be noticed upon his arrival was vacated as the new order made the previous instructions redundant. Some had falsely claimed that this was tantamount to “lifting travel restrictions” which was patently not the case.
It is not immediately clear whether Malagamuwa would risk fate, the law and the wrath of Yoshyushi Hayashi by bringing the Lamborghini to Sri Lanka where it will almost certainly become the focus of attention by those representing Hayashi. On the other hand Malagamuwa may well be relying on the informal largesse of the Colombo Night Race organisers to extricate him from any further legal manoeuvres that may befall him.
Dilantha’s Abusive And Threatening Response To The Sunday Leader…
Another great Sri lankan. (Sic) Thank you is this what you give me for all my hard work I have done for Sri Lanka.
I know you guys will sell even your mother for an article to get famous. You have the freedom to write any thing but if there is anything not correct I will sue you. Listen to both parties. I think your parents must have brought you up to be a honest person and to work with good conscience.
God bless you.
Sent via BlackBerry from Maxis