CIABOC uncovers Rs. 5 billion fraud involving DMT officers
By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) revealed on Friday (24) a large-scale fraud of over Rs. 5 billion committed by suspects in connivance with officers of the Department of Motor Traffic before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court.
The Commission filed a “B” report, presenting a jeep before Chief Magistrate Prasanna Alwis, alleging that the Toyota jeep had been registered under a lorry chassis number to evade paying customs duty and taxes to the State.
The bribery investigators informed the Magistrate that the first registration was made on 3 July 2007, while the jeep in Japan had not been imported to Sri Lanka at the time of registration.
The agency disclosed that they had taken into custody the Toyota jeep with registration number HG 5087, which was imported to Sri Lanka on forged documents, from a car dealership in Kurunegala.
Further investigations conducted by the Commission revealed that following the first registration made on 3 July 2003, the suspect had obtained revenue licenses for the Toyota jeep for subsequent years 2003, 2004, and 2005.
Their investigations unveiled that the schemers had imported more than 200 vehicles in this manner, causing a loss of more than Rs. 5 billion to the state.
The Commission presented the accused mastermind, M.D. Liyanage of No. 197, Dambulla Road, Kurunegala, before the Magistrate and informed the court that they are conducting further investigations into the scam. The Magistrate ordered the suspect to be remanded.
Meanwhile Government audit officers have unearthed a massive racket of registering vehicles by presenting forge documents to the department.
Several super luxury vehicles had been brought down to the country some times back.
The government audit has also conducted investigations into 23 more vehicles imported to the country, a senior official of the Finance ministry said.
The Sri Lanka Customs had to incur a heavy loss of millions of rupees due to the illegal importation of these super luxury vehicles while the government lost a large sum of money due to illegal vehicle registration.
It has been revealed that these vehicle registrations had been made by destroying files containing Customs and other documents of these vehicles and inserting false information into the computer system of the Motor Traffic Department, during the last few years.
Government auditors have made a request from the Commissioner General to hand over all the files pertaining to illegal vehicle registration. The issue of illegal vehicle registration was not new, the official said.