Oct 05, 2017

Employees at cash-strapped Skyline go unpaid! Featured

Skyline Aviation that has come under tax fraud and other accusations has not paid its employees for the past two months, reports reaching Sri Lanka Mirror say.

Financial trouble has forced it to keep its aircraft grounded for the past two days too.

Despite continuous revelations by SLM about the irregularities committed by this company officials of the Civil Aviation Authority keep on covering them up.

In July, the Colombo high court handed a one year rigorous imprisonment suspended for 4 years to Skyline’s owner Kurukulasuriya Antony Romesh Fernando after he pleaded guilty in two cases, to having faked the signature of a shareholder Chamila Wickremanayake.

Given below is the court ruling:

court ruling

In addition, he was ordered to pay a Rs. 10,000 fine, or a one year jail term if he failed to pay the fine.

Tax fraud

The tax fraud by Skyline is said to be one of the biggest in the country.

Fernando has told ‘The Island’ in 2006 that he had invested Rs. 61.08 million in Skyline.

He had not paid tax for that investment and a question remains how he acquired that money.

Top officials of the Board of Investment and the Civil Aviation Authority had aided him in the fraud.

Commenced under the BOI’s Nipayum Sri Lanka 300 enterprises programme in 2006, Skyline had said it would have its operations centre at Weerawila.

Leased an Air Force building

He had leased an Air Force owned bakery building there to start an office, with the assistance of the then AF chief Roshan Gunatilake.

Skyline 06 10 14 001

Skyline 06 10 14 002

Application to secure the AF building

According to the agreement, the building has been temporarily obtained on a Rs. 30,000 lease.

However, Skyline does not have any office at Weerawila now.

It had opened that office only to obtain tax concessions from the BOI.

Audit report reveals all

Skyline’s 2008 audit report, prepared by SK Associates of 17 B, T.B. Jayah Mawatha, Colombo 10, makes it clear that the company enjoyed special tax concessions from the BOI.

According to that report, the company was to enjoy BOI tax concessions for an eight year period from November 2006.

(Relevant extract from the audit report)

Skyline 06 10 14 003

BOI DDG knew about it

Deputy director general (investment) of the BOI Y.G. Rajapakse had known about the fraud, but had kept it a secret.

An employee of the company once wrote to her about the fraud, and she sent him a letter saying an investigation would be conducted.

But no investigation has taken place.

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