Company executive defrauds millions
in tax cheques, high value stamps, visas, passports and forgeries
Govt. Analyst overloaded with 32,000 cases
While the Government Analyst’s Department (GAD) complains
of the lack of staff and other resources, some 32,000 cases of forgery
including a stunning multi-million rupee company tax fraud are still
In the income tax fraud involving some Rs. 8 million, a company
executive is alleged to have altered cheques from his employer to
the Commissioner of Inland Revenue and deposited them in his own
account under the name of a fictitious company.
to preliminary investigations by the GAD, the executive had allegedly
changed the cheques credited to the “COMMISSIONER OF INLAND
REVENUE” by altering or adding letters and words and making
it read ‘TEQMISSIONERY SOFTINEAND TREYENOED LANKA (PVT) LTD’.
The company began to ring alarm bells when the Department of Inland
Revenue sent it warning letters over the non-payment of income taxes.
The puzzled company called in the CID and investigations revealed
that the executive was living high and far beyond his means.
suspect has been arrested and a case in pending.
In other cases, ingenious Sri Lankan racketeers have found ways
of forging even the supposedly unforgeable new passports issued
by the Department of Immigration and Emigration.
big time forgeries include visas, education certificates and national
identity cards with the forgery charge ranging from Rs. 1000 to
tens of thousands.
of the biggest items of forgery is the coveted and imported GCE
Advanced Level certificates. Investigations revealed that the forgery
of the A/L certificates – a gateway to higher studies –
takes only five minutes. The forgers have the signature of the Commissioner
of Examinations readymade through a scanning process and all they
need to do is give bogus credits and distinctions for various subjects
with the number depending on the amount being offered.
year alone, the GAD was piled up with more than 5,000 cases of forgery
and with a backlog of some 30,000 from previous years, the department
is bursting at the seams while forgers are having a boom time and
the biggest business of their lives.
favourite of the forgers is the high value stamp generally used
for land deeds. The forgeries look very much like the genuine ones
and in any event a hard look is taken not at the stamp but at the
wording of the deed, thus the forgery often goes unnoticed.
forged Rs. 1,000 stamps are known to be printed in bulk and could
be detected only through sophisticated equipment at GAD. The forged
lottery tickets are among those cases under investigations with
hardly any difference between the original and the bogus tickets.
cases of forged passports are often referred to the department,
despite assurances from Immigration authorities that the newly introduced
passports cannot be forged.
Analyst T.G. Somapala said a lack of staff was a major problem for
him not only in probing forgeries but also in expediting the investigations
in analyzing narcotics, explosives and food samples.
said that two months ago he was given 16 new staff members and they
were being trained on-the-job, but the load facing the department
Somapala said they also have another problem about space. He said
the department also needed much more office space. Earlier attempts
to get a new building in Colombo 7 were stopped by the Urban Development
Authority and now the department had been offered land in Pelawatte,
but construction was yet to begin.
Two foreigners had duped locals that a black cartridge paper could
be turned into dollars whipping out a black dust on it.
Modus Operandi was that the foreigners handed over a black bundle
of papers to the locals and said that they could wipe the black
dust on it. They proved their point by wiping the black dust which
was sprayed on two genuine dollar notes at the end of the bundle.
their demonstration they handed over the bundle and left with the
money. The locals back at home attempted to wipe the remaining paper,
but found that they could not wipe the black paper.
On a tip-off the two foreigners were arrested.