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Couple disappears after defrauding Rs.50 million

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Teledrama producers duped

A group of television drama producers has accused a private company and its owners of a large scale fraud amounting to fifty million rupees.

The alleged company registered under the name Red Apple One International Private Limited under the Companies Act No 7 of 2007 on September 23, 2014, has provided the address Alvitigala Mawatha, Arawwala Road, Pannipitiya.

It was registered as a company which coordinates between audio/video production companies and media institutions in the country.

Tharanga Rajapaksha, a teledrama producer, who claims to have fallen victim to this money scam, speaking to The Nation said that this company owes him Rs.4 million. Directors of Red Apple One have accepted his tele-drama, Ehala Maha Nikinniya, on the agreement of paying 120,000 rupees per episode. The teledrama consisting of 42 episodes was telecast on TNL from October 2014. “They paid me only 1,150,000 rupees promising they would pay me the remainder later. Dated checks they issued bounced and now the company director Deepthi Wageesha, who signed the agreement to pay me, is missing,” Rajapaksha said.

 As Rajapaksha said, the alleged persons, Deepthi Wageesha and her husband Neil Bandula have left their residence and can’t be reached via the provided mobile numbers. “There are over 30 teledrama makers who have fallen victim to them. Some of them have made complaints to the Police and the CID. Some of the complaints were rejected since the alleged director has provided letters apologizing for the delayed payments and promising to make payments in the near future. Some of these letters have become a reason to disqualify the complaints made to the Police.” However, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has accepted Rajapaksha’s complaint regarding the matter.

Sanjaya Gunawardena, a tele-drama director, is another victim who claims that Red Apple One has to pay approximately 5.5 million rupees for his drama Deveni Wedikawa telecast on TNL. “I have also made an entry at CID. I don’t know what’s happening with the complaint. When I queried, they advised me to file a civil case,” Gunawardena said. “I am not financially fit to file a case. Whatever money I had, I invested it in Red Apple One trying get my teledrama a timeslot in a television channel,” he added.
Ms. Nuwani Walimuni is also a teledrama producer who has paid Red Apple One to sell two of her productions. “I paid three and a half lakhs for one drama and five lakhs for the other. As for the calculations, Deepthi Wageesha has agreed to pay me Rs.7 million for my productions. To this day, I have not received a single rupee,” she said.

As for the accounts of Telshan Networks (Pvt) Ltd (TNL), Red Apple One is to pay them over Rs.8.6 million. Speaking to The Nation, TNL Chairman Shan Wickramasinghe said that he was unaware that he was dealing with a middleman in approving the tele-dramas. “From the due amounts Red Apple One has paid TNL Rs.4 million to us. According to our Accounts Department, Red Apple One has to pay Rs.8.6 million more for the timeslots they have purchased,” Wickramasinghe said adding that they have also made a complaint to the CID.

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