Finance Ministry gags Customs
By Lenin Amarawickrema
The Ministry of Finance has barred Customs officers from providing information to the media -- days after a senior officer investigating a controversial gold coin import business fled the country upon receiving death threats.

A Customs officers told the Finance Ministry in a circular had said it was aware that at least five officers had left the country owing to fears about their safety after they received threats in connection with investigations they were doing.

The Finance Ministry was thus barring officers from speaking to the media. The latest officer to flee was Superintendent Athula Lankadeva, who was probing a case of alleged under-invoicing in the import of gold coins for the GoldQuest referral marketing scheme. (See story in The Sunday Times FT).

He is believed to have gone abroad with his wife and two children. This is the second time Mr. Lankadeva has left the country after receiving death threats. Earlier this month, Mr. Lankadeva was attacked by three men, one of whom was armed, but he managed to escape without serious injury. He said he had received death threats and alleged the attack was connected to his gold coin investigation.

Top  Back to News  

Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.