Customs DG was removed to protect a businessman – Mahinda
Posted on February 3rd, 2019

According to Mahinda Rajapaksa, the removal of the Director General of Sri Lanka Customs was a measure taken by the government to protect a businessman.

The Opposition Leader points out that state officials cannot be unfairly transferred based on the whims of ministers.

He mentioned this to the media following an event held at the Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya.

Rajapaksa further said that forming a national government is a joke.

6 Responses to “Customs DG was removed to protect a businessman – Mahinda”

  1. Hiranthe Says:

    To Protect Businessmen or Politicians??

  2. Randeniyage Says:

    Why don’t you expose the businessman and their relationship to politician ( name him too).

    Sarojini Charles Was Removed From Customs Director -General Post by the Govt Because She Tried To Conduct Fresh Inquiry Into Falsified Invoice Fraud in Importing 1675 BMW Vehicles Alleges Lawyer Nagananda Kodituwakku.

    By Shamindra Ferdinando

    Attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku, yesterday, alleged that government sacked Director General of Customs Mrs. P.S.M. Charles (Sarojini Charles) as she continuously resisted political interference.

    Kodituwakku pointed out the government sacked Mrs. Charles soon after celebrating the International Customs Day, in Colombo.

    Kodituwakku said that the UNP proved again that honest and efficient public servants were at the mercy of powerful corrupt elements in the government.

    Responding to a query, Kodituwakku said that Mrs. Charles earned the wrath of the government for not giving in to illegal directives.

    At the time Mrs Charles received the vital appointment she functioned as the Government Agent, Batticaloa.

    Mrs Charles succeeded Chulananda Perera.

    Commenting on allegations that government politicians had intervened on behalf of a major multinational, which had imported 2,800 metric tonnes of low quality pepper, causing a loss of Rs 81 mn in revenue to the state in the import of coconut oil, Kodituwakku explained how her decision to resume an investigation into an alleged fraud amounting to Rs. 16 bn under the previous administration could have contributed to her removal.

    Mrs. Charles has informed the Court of Appeal of her decision through the Attorney General’s Department in spite of efforts to dissuade her, the lawyer said.

    DG, Customs has told the Court of Appeal that a previous directive to impose a penalty of Rs. 100,000 each on 1,675 imported BMWs would be rescinded and an inquiry launched. Investigations have revealed how a set of falsified invoices had been presented to the Customs instead of the original documents from Germany.

    Although, vehicles worth more than 25,000 USD couldn’t be exempted from taxes, tax exemptions had been received for BMWs worth over USD 30,000 each by furnishing fictitious invoices which placed the value well under USD 25,000.

    Kodituwakku challenged the civil society to take up the case. Those preaching the country of good governance, accountability and rule of law couldn’t remain silent. The ousted DG, Customs set an example in a country where those elected and appointed members of parliament and their associates at key positions in the public sector ruined the national economy, Kodituwakku said.

    Responding to another query, Kodituwakku said that now that Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera had claimed that Mrs Charles was removed on a cabinet decision, the government certainly owed the public an explanation as to why a courageous officer was sacked.

    Kodituwakku vowed to continue to campaign for her reinstatement. The move to appoint a retired Rear Admiral to the post of DG, Customs exposed the government, the lawyer said. The government seemed bent on causing further destruction to national economy, Kodituwakku said, urging the people to be wary of the UNP government.

    Kodituwakku urged the Customs to continue trade work-to-rule campaign until the government backed down. According to him, protest would continue until Mrs. Charles was brought back as head of the Department.

    Responding to accusations Mrs Charles hadn’t been able to enhance state revenue and also stop cocaine imports to Sri Lanka, Kodituwakku said that cocaine stocks detected here were certainly not meant for local market. Cocaine stocks reached Colombo as those responsible based in Europe for some reason failed to remove contraband from containers, Kodituwakku said.

    Kodituwakku said that those who had found fault with Mrs Charles for not enhancing state revenue caused massive losses by selling super luxury vehicles imported on duty free permits.
    Courtesy:The Island

  3. Dilrook Says:

    Does this mean the most corrupt state institution was least corrupt during the past 4 years? If so, customs unions would have struck work when that DG was holding the position (not after).

    They strike work because a clean and authoritative person was proposed to become the DG. They fear drying up their bribes, etc.

    It is a good decision by the government to make that proposed appointment to increase tax revenue and decrease corruption at the most important revenue collecting organization. Government has realized imposing more taxes ruins the economy further. Instead efficiency of tax collection and converting part of corruption into state revenue is a viable option. This is because Sri Lanka has to repay an unprecedented $5 billion in loans and interest to foreign lenders this year.

    Sadly the gallery is fooled by petty issues while the main issue is kept hidden. Patriots would never oppose a proven war hero.

  4. dingiri bandara Says:

    Is there any state department without bribe taking corrupt officials( not all) Just look at the size of there houses/mansions and where their children are educated. This goes for all the politicians too. Unfortunately this is the way of Sri Lanka and many other countries.

  5. Dilrook Says:

    Customs is potentially the most corrupt of all entities given the value they deal with. This government was heavily financed by importers at the election.

    Otherwise half the crooked import businesses won’t survive the 170 rupees plus dollar and slow economic growth. They cheat the value of their imports with the help from officers. And there won’t be so many narcotics, weapons and other contraband items floating in the country since this regime came to power. Customs trade unions never struck work for the betterment of the nation!

    The BMW case must be investigated. Changing the DG should not affect that.

  6. Randeniyage Says:

    @Dilrook
    Mrs. Charles was not there for last 4 years, she was there since September 2017.
    There are extremely corrupt officers in the customs. They are not striking at the moment.

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