The Illegal Assets Investigation Division of the Criminal Investigation Department recently took action, apprehending a woman on Monday (21). She stands accused of duping a significant number of people living in and around Galle, enticing them with the promise of high returns on their investments in both local and foreign companies.
Interestingly, she was involved in a liquor business and also engaged in money lending locally.
From the years 2019 to 2023, a span of over four years, the investigation unveiled that she had managed to persuade countless individuals to entrust their money to her as investments. However, instead of fulfilling her promises, she ended up defrauding them of substantial amounts. A senior police officer revealed that the woman, named Nirosha Nishanthi, seemed to have established connections with people in and around Galle. Complaints against her have emerged from various police stations across the southern region.
The investigation further divulged that she had been leading a lavish lifestyle, using the funds she had obtained through her investments. In a surprising twist, she claimed ownership of a hotel and accumulated multiple properties through her ill-gotten gains. Astonishingly, it was uncovered that she had utilized the money obtained through her deceitful tactics to purchase houses and lands in various parts of the country.
The genesis of the inquiry against her was a complaint submitted by a 44-year-old woman. The complainant expressed that individuals who had entrusted their money to the accused felt cheated and deceived, especially when they demanded their money back.
After evading authorities for approximately six months, the woman was finally apprehended after being summoned to the Illegal Assets Investigation Division in Polhengoda, Narahenpita. The police highlighted that the amounts of money she had managed to obtain ranged from Rs.100,000 to several million rupees. Her fraudulent activities impacted people from diverse backgrounds, including businessmen in Galle and government officials.
The senior police officer elaborated that her fraudulent activities seemed to be centered in the Galle region. However, despite the considerable number of victims, only a small portion of them gathered the courage to come forward and file complaints, often due to feelings of shame and embarrassment. It’s noteworthy that a Facebook group was established by those who had fallen prey to her scam, facilitating the exchange of information among the victims.
The woman was scheduled to appear before the Galle Magistrate’s Court on the 22nd, where she was granted bail with a surety of Rs.50 million. This decision came after her presentation before Galle Chief Magistrate Isuru Nettikumara on the aforementioned date.