PRECIFAC to submit 6 more reports to President

Saturday, 17 December 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Investigation reports on SriLankan Airlines and SriLankan Catering included


By Shanika Sriyananda

The President-appointed anti-corruption commission is ready to handover six reports on investigations into fraud at several Government institutions including an all-important document on SriLankan Airlines and Lunuwila Coconut Research Board to President Maithripala Sirisena. 

Officials of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power (PRECIFAC)  has sought an appointment from President Maithripala Sirisena to hand over six more final reports of its investigations into fraud, corruption and misuse of State funds.

The fresh set is on the back of six final reports presented previously.  

Sources at PRECIFAC said that the final reports of six cases were prepared after State officials testified on alleged complaints at the public hearings held before the PRECIFAC Commissioners. 

The six final reports to be handed over to the President include financial irregularities of SriLankan Airlines and SriLankan Catering, misuse of State funds at the Lunuwila Coconut Research Board, financial irregularities reported at the North Central Provincial Council when purchasing water filters and misuse of State vehicles and fuel by the former Chief Minister of the North Central Province.

“We prepared these six final reports a few months ago and are waiting for a time slot from the President to handover them over to him,” the official said.

In May former Minister of Civil Aviation Priyankara Jayaratne and several other top officials of SriLankan Airlines and SriLankan Catering testified at PRECIFAC over the alleged loss of Rs. 39 million incurred to the Government. 

Former SriLankan Airlines Chairman Nishantha Wickramasinghe, SriLankan Catering CEO Sarath Fernando, former CEOs of SriLankan Airlines Kapila Chandrasena and Manoj Vaas Gunewardene and former Airhostess Nithya Senani Samaratunge were also questioned by the Commissioners. 

The officials said the final decisions of the six final reports – the alleged fraud at ITN, illegal deployment of Rakna Lanka employees in the 2015 presidential polls, and selling of expired dynamite by the Ministry of Defence – were presented to the President previously.

“PRECIFAC’s mandate is over after we hand over our final reports to the President. He will take the final decision to bring the culprits before the law,” he said.

The allegations against RALL includes deploying over 500 RALL employees on the presidential campaign in 2015 in support of  former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, misuse of Rs. 6 million for deploying RALL security personnel and giving temporary employment for 150 members attached to the Civil Defence Force personnel to carry out duties of those who were deployed for the election campaign.

PRECIFAC had an in-depth probe into alleged importing of 100 metric tons of expired dynamite by the Ministry of Defence, resulting in Rs.22 million in losses to the Government.

“We are now in the process of finalising nine more cases, in which Police investigations and obtaining of statements from State officials who were allegedly involved in those cases have been completed,” the officials added.

The public hearings were held before a five-member panel of Commissioners including High Court Judges Padman Surasena and Piyasena Ranasinghe, Gihan Kulatunga and former Auditor General B.A. Premathilake.