Colombo bank officials accused of intimidating customer & ripping off Rs.600,000 bailed

Two private bank officials accused of wrongfully confining and intimidating a customer to recover the loan he had obtained by allegedly providing forged documents were taken up at the Fort Magistrate’s Court.

According to the police, the complainant-customer had obtained an Rs. million loans from a private bank by providing necessary documents last year. However, after a while, the two suspects (Bank officials) had found that the complainant had provided forged documents for the loan.

Thereafter, the two bank officials had contacted the complainant regarding the issue and subsequently, the complainant had come to the bank to enquire about the allegation. Counsel Sajitha Jayawardena who appeared for the complainant informed Court that the two bank officers had thereafter intimidated his client illegally by detaining him at the bank and forcefully requiring him to pay back the money he obtained.

Counsel said that the suspects had wrongfully confined his client and taken him in a vehicle to a hotel where he had been intimidated. He also said that his client had been forced to pay Rs.600,000 at that moment, which he had paid by obtaining a loan from his friend. However, President’s Counsel Nalinda Indatissa appearing for the two bank officials denied the allegations and said that the two bank officials never had the intention of extorting money from the complainant or confining him, as they were only trying to do their duties after noticing those forged documents.

PC Indatissa said that the complainant was only taken in a vehicle to the police station even though that act can be admitted as something overdone by his clients against the law. Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake also considered this fact and observed that the two bank officials should not have confined the complainant and taken him to police or anywhere else.

“They should have in the first place, complained to the police over the fraud”, he said. Subsequently, the suspects were ordered to be released on cash bail of Rs. 10,000 with sureties of Rs.one million each by the Magistrate.

The Police had filed the case under the sections 330, 338 and 483 of the Penal Code against the two bank officials for ‘Wrongful Confinement for the purpose of Extortion’ and ‘Criminal Intimidation and Wrongful Restraint’.

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