CaFFE demands further probe on Gl pipes fraud

Thursday, 21 July 2016 00:45 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Chamodi Gunawardana

The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) urged the Ministry of Social Empowerment and Welfare  to conduct primary inquiries into officials allegedly involved in the misappropriation of Rs. 36.5 million belonging to the Divi Neguma Development Department. The funds had reportedly been used to purchase and distribute GI pipes during the run-up to the last presidential election.

Even if former Economic Affairs Minister Basil Rajapaksa had been remanded until 1 August after being arrested by the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) over the same allegation, CaFFE claimed there were a few other officers who should have been arrested along with Rajapaksa for the same case. 

Writing to Social Empowerment and Welfare Ministry Secretary Mahinda Seneviratne, CaFFE claimed that, when it wrote to Seneviratne on a few occasions earlier, the secretary had informed them that basic investigations had begun.

CaFFE charged, however, that the ministry had yet to record statements from those persons about the incidents. 

According to CaFFE, it was not just Minister Rajapaksa, but former Divi Neguma Development Department Director General R. A. A. K. Ranawaka and a few other officers of the department had also allegedly benefited from the fraud. CaFFE pointed out it has already attached the relevant documents including a request letter for GI pipes issued by Ranawaka as well as all bills and vouchers with their earlier complaint letter to the ministry.

The organisation urged the ministry to take disciplinary action against them as soon as possible.