TUESDAY, AUGUST 23: A Sri Lankan national has appeared in court accused of pocketing more than $60,000 by making false insurance claims for medical surgery it is alleged she never received.

Chandima Arachchige, 36, was charged with dishonestly obtaining $26,340 from BF&M on February 4, 2010 by claiming she had surgery in Sri Lanka between January 4 and January 10, 2010 when she was in Bermuda.

She was also charged with dishonestly obtaining $23,505.20 from BF&M on April 20, 2010 by claiming she had medical surgery in Sri Lanka between March 25 and April 7, 2010 when she was in Bermuda.

Ms Arachchige was further accused of dishonestly obtaining $18,574.69 from BF&M on November 26, 2010 by claiming she had surgery in Sri Lanka between October 4 and October 12, 2010 when she was in Bermuda.

She is also charged with attempting to dishonestly obtain $13,897.75 on May 18, 2011 by claiming she had surgery between May 4 and May 11, 2011 in Sri Lanka when she was in Bermuda.

Today at Magistrates’ Court Ms Arachchige pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The court heard Ms Arachchige, of Woodland Road, Pembroke, attempted to leave the Island two days after she was notified that BF&M found irregularities in her claims.

She was arrested when she tried to fly to Sri Lanka on a one-way ticket.

The court heard when officers searched her home, all her belongings had been removed and the only thing in the apartment was furniture.

They also discovered her bank accounts had been emptied.

Crown counsel Cindy Clarke said the defendant works in the accounts department at HWP and she had not applied to take vacation days.

She said Ms Arachchige’s work permit was due to expire in October and would not be renewed. 

But her lawyer Saul Dismount said his client got word that her uncle in Sri Lanka had died and her family purchased a single ticket for her to go home.

Ms Arachchige was given $25,000 bail with one surety and will reappear in court in September.