Feb 23, Colombo: Sri Lanka Minister of Transport Kumar Welgama said in parliament yesterday that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police has been assigned to investigate a Rs. 6.4 billion fraud in the Department of Motor Vehicles Registration.
Responding to a query from United National Party (UNP) Matara district MP Buddhika Pathirana, the Minister said that the fraud has taken place in a deal of importing chassis as spare parts for vehicles damaged in the 2004 tsunami.
The Minister said that engine and other main accessories had also been imported fraudulently under a special permission given to import spare parts for the tsunami-damaged vehicles. The racketeers assembled new vehicles from the imported parts and registered them under old chassis numbers.
The officials have solicited bribes from the importers, the Minister said.
The Minister revealed that around 2,000 vehicles assembled had been released to the market this way and 1,900 of them had been assigned registered numbers of old vehicles.
The Controller of Import and Exports, the Director of Customs and the Commissioner of Motor Traffic have been informed of the fraud, the Minister said, adding that the CID and Fraud Investigations Bureau are investigating the fraud.