Opinion

ONE OF THE BRIGHTEST SRI LANKANS

September 6, 2023

Mother Sri Lanka has produced prodigies often in multiple areas. Some have entered NASA
(the National Aeronautics and Space Administration). It is the U.S. government agency responsible
for science and technology related to air and space. The Space Age started in 1957 with the launch of
the Soviet satellite Sputnik in September 2013.

The intellectual judgement of the Ceylonese has too many to excel as global gentlemen, such as eminent
scientists, lawyers and medical gentlemen, as some were elected to be the gold scalpel awards, business
tycoons etc.

Michael Marian Emil Anacletus Pierre Saundrarajah (later known as Dr Saundra) was one such
gentleman who hailed from the Tamil community and later became an international swindler and a
confident trickster.

He hailed from Tamil Community in ‘Ceylon’ and was briefly an employee of ‘Ceylon Engineers’ under
the British. However, the British paid no heed during the second world since he possessed a pilot’s
licence.

At 23, he joined a business carrier and became involved in shipping an abortive shipload of oil. It
involved lots of illegal money from Ghana. Despite this, he escaped jail but was deported from Ghana.
Despite such accusations, he was not jailed to avoid local embarrassment.

In 1950 he became implicated in a record level of “hush” money in business involvement in Ghana and
was deported again to Ghana. In 1954, Belgium authorities accused him of defrauding the bank Credit at
Antwerp over a non-extent consignment of rice, and he ended up in jail in a Belgium prison.

In 1958, he resurfaced again as a middleman in the American ‘Hush Money operation’, but he was not
taken into any custody in Gahana but deported from Ghana to avoid any local embarrassment money
transactions.

In 1954 Belgian authorities were accused of defrauding the Bank of Antwerp over a .nonexistent rice
consignment. He ended up in prison in Belgium.

U.K. Activities

In 1958 he resurfaced again as a middleman for an American called Ca Bird, dealing with Minerals in
Ghana. By then, he had developed shrewd tactics to become a well ‘black Marketer’. In 1959, he became
involved with coffee beans deal with the Costa Rica government. Of course, his only offence in Ceylon
was not paying income tax. He avoided visiting Ceylon between 1951 -1965.

Emil Saundra settled down in England when car sales were booming. He increased his networks by
floating a company for fire, auto and Marine Insurance, offering motorists an attractive premium. It made
him revolutionise the insurance industry in the U.K. It was a fundamental computerisation. It elevated
him to lead a fruitful lifestyle until FAM (Fire, Auto & Marine Insurance) company collapsed due to cash
flow failure.

The Sunday Times (London) ‘Insight’ team finally managed to investigate his extravaganza, which
included power boats and associating with the wealthy, influential aristocratic figures of the time.

Dr Saundra fractured his spine during the first powerboat race from Cowes to Torquay. His colleagues
introduced him to very known to osteopath Stephen Ward whose name had been associated with top
models known at the time as Christine Keeler and Many Rise-Davies. David Ward entered a physical life
scandal in 1963, which exposed Britain’s war. At John Stephen Ward’s trial, which hit the headlines was
referred to as ‘the Indian doctor’. Emiel Saundra was regarded as one of the first controversial
businesspeople trying to prevent the U.K. libel laws to his advantage by trying to get Private Eye
magazine’s attempt to expose his critical life and business practices.

Emil Saundra was possibly the most noticeable Asian businessman in 1962. His fire, auto and marine
Insurance company (FAM) became the biggest of the six insurance companies in the U.K. in the 1960 and
early 1970s.

In May 1966, Emil Saundra suffered a heart attack and sold his FAM shares to his directors at FAM. The
company led by Quincy Walker collapsed within days, leaving their clients uninsured legally and in a
predicament. When it happened, more than 400,000 motorists pursued Saundra in his mansion in
Hampstead.

Saundra fled to Ceylon, and the government of Ceylon refused to confirm that they would deny any
British request for his extradition from Ceylon to the U.K. Then he returned to Europe and spent a month
in Rome, but the British press followed him in 1967. In 1967 Emil Saundrarajah returned to the U.K.

At his trial in 1968, witnesses gave evidence confirming that he had securities worth Pounds 540,000 and
ownership of Pounds 870,000 of ‘blue ship’ shares supporting FAM. However, such deposits were only
available when the company succeeded. It was claimed that Emil Saundra had transferred FAM assets to
Lichtenstein, allowing much greater secrecy. In the end, such funds were not found.

Dr Emil Saundra’s dishonest business activities erupted on the law during the debate. He answered
without being ruffled but as cool as a cucumber.

In a BBC interview, the late Mr Frost questioned him, but Saundra said, “I have not broken any laws in
this country. Your government created a thing called insolvency and another called bankruptcy; all I have
done is follow the country’s rules to the letter.

When angry, Frost, during the interview, showed some repentance and regret but no defiance Saundra
helped to provoke. Instead, Saundra managed to cause the audience head-on the audience some of the
clients who were victims denying any moral responsibility for what happened at the collapse of his
company.

Angry David Frost, the finest swordsman in England, pointed at a woman (Mrs Saunders) right to a fair
trial in a British Criminal Court. Finally, Saundra was sentenced to eight years and a fine of Pounds
50,000.00 in March 1968. However, due to his present illness, diabetes and heart condition, he was
transferred to the prison hospital.

In December 1974, he was released from prison mainly due to poor health. On his way out to freedom, a
T.V. presenter at the prison entrance asked him a simple question.

“Dr Saundra, now that you are a freeman, what plans have you in mind?

Saundra never seems to be for words replied:

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