Mackwoods Plantation Employees Level Rs. 1.1 Billion Tea Scam Charges Against Dr. Chris Nonis

Aggrieved Employees Of Agalawatte Plantations PLC (known as APL) of Mackwoods Group are charging Chris Nonis and his lawyer sister Shelendra Nonis Ranaweera for siphoning out Rs 1.134 Billion rupees (about US Dollars 7.7 Million) from the listed company Agalawatte Plantations PLC reportedly to United Kingdom.

Aggrieved Employees Of Agalawatte Plantations PLC allege that the Nonis-Ranaweera duo has hoodwinked not only the poor estate workers, who presently have Rs. 400 million owed to them on statutory (EPF/ETF) and other dues, but also the shareholders and the Directors of the Mackwoods Group, by siphoning through Nonis’s privately-owned company APL Teas (Pvt) Ltd, unknown to Mackwoods shareholders. 

It is alleged that the Company has been named APL Teas(Pvt) Ltd to deliberately mislead the estate workers, shareholders, directors and the public that this is the subsidiary company tea marketing arm of Agalawatte Plantations plc (APL). This private company owned by the former High Commissioner to the UK and his sister Shelendra, have not disclosed this fact to the shareholders or the Directors of Agalawatte Plantations plc in view of the irregular and illegal dealings with the plantation company. 

The monies have been transferred to the UK, allegedly under the guise of  “international” marketing, branding and promotional expenses. Being UK citizens, Nonis and his sister have formed several companies in UK that owns multi million Sterling Pound assets purchased from money robbed from Agalwatte Plantation, which is a public company.

 

Whilst the plantation sector has been going through a challenging time due to fall in market prices, in the case of Agalawatte Plantations the situation is much worse. It is obvious that the systematic siphoning out of money over a period of time has played a big part  to the present financial crisis which has now caused Banks to take action against the company for non payment of dues. 

In November 2015 estate workers carried out a massive protest at Mackwoods premises in Borella demanding payment of their statutory (EPF/ETF)  and other dues amounting to about Rs 400 million, which has built up over a period of 3 years.

Meanwhile, it is now evident why Dr Chris Nonis never stepped down from the position of Chairman when he was appointed as High Commissioner to the UK, an accepted practice when taking on a public appointment.

During his tenure as the Sri Lankan High Commissioner for UK, he continued to oversee and control all key operations and the finances of the Mackwoods Group, particularly Agalawatte Plantations PLC , having regular video conferencing from UK, and certain  key employees  making regular trips to UK to have discussions with him relating to Company matters.

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