give statement over alleged rubber fraud
By Tania Fernando
Former Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake has agreed to
call over at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and make
a statement about an alleged fraud, at the Sri Lanka Rubber Manufacturing
and Export Corporation. He was Plantation Industries Minister during
The former Premier
who was missing since last week had contacted the Criminal Investigation
Department (CID) on Friday and agreed to present himself at the
CID for his statement to be recorded, with regard to the alleged
fraud at the Rubber Manufacturing Corporation.
A CID official
said that Mr. Wickremanayake had said that he would present himself
at the CID within the next few days. The CID which was trying to
contact Mr. Wickremanayake since last Wednesday had failed to locate
him and had subsequently sought the assistance of Opposition Leader
Mahinda Rajapakse to locate the former Premier.
The CID commenced
investigation after it was revealed that money amounting to Rs.
2.5 million was released to the Corporation when President Kumaratunga
was Finance Minister. These monies were allegedly released for the
purchase of lands for various factories. However the Corporation
has no deeds with regard to any of the transactions.
The former Chairman
of the Rubber Manufacturing Corporation along with the accountant
and factory manager were remanded in connection with the massive
fraud in the Corporation and later released on bail. Statements
of several leading opposition politicians were also recorded in
connection with the alleged fraud, along with those of several VIPs
and officials in the plantation industry.
During CID investigations
it was found that over Rs. 540 million of public funds were siphoned
off from the Corporation without anyone being held accountable.
This sum of money was from a total of Rs. 941 million approved for
providing relief to rubber smallholders.