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Cooking oil unfit for consumption released with Customs blessings!



The PHIs of Ridigama have busted a large-scale smuggling in which expired cooking oil unfit for human consumption has been released to the market.

The 51,600 liters of canola oil stock used for cooking, which was allegedly brought from Germany, has been found at a warehouse in Ridigama and the stock has been released with the help of Customs officers.

The Public Health Inspectors raided the warehouse located at Annoorpura, Panagamuwa in Ridigama based on information received by the Ridigama Medical Officer of Health (MOH) office.

The oil stock was taken into custody along with a businessman named Iliyas Mohammed of No. 130 A, Annoorpura in Panagamuwa.

A total of 5,160 cans of ten-liter each were found in the warehouse.

The arrested businessman said the oil stock was supposed to be used for soap production.

Though the businessman had said that he had purchased three containers containing these oil cans from the port, he had failed to produce any document.

Investigators said that a ten-liter can was priced at Rs.9,999 and they have been labelled in a foreign country.

The oil cans had no expiry date and the businessman had no receipt to indicate that the goods were purchased.
Officials who conducted the raid said that an address ‘South Pacific Agency, Upper Bomiriya, Kaduwela’ was mentioned on the oil cans as the importer and distributor.

The Rambadagalla Court has given orders to seal the warehouse and send the samples to the government analyst.

When ‘Aruna’ made an inquiry in this regard, the port sources confirmed that several containers seized by the Customs were tendered and released on January 20.

The tender has been called under the number CDV/TS/2023/01.

The cans of canola oil weighing 47,265 kgs have been released for over Rs.15 million.

On December 19, 2022, the government food inspector has approved the use of this oil stock before February 2023.

The price of a liter of canola oil released from the port was Rs.294.18.

The port officials said if this ten-liter can, which was priced at nine hundred and ninety nine rupees per liter, generated a profit of seven thousand fifty rupees, the businessman may have earned an income of over Rs.36 million.

The officials pointed out that the smugglers had tried to release several rice containers on the same day when these containers were tendered with the help of corrupt officials in anticipation of high profits, but they were prevented by the intervention of the Ports Authority Chairman.

Source – Aruna


Sri Lankan rupee appreciates further




The Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR) further appreciated against the US Dollar (USD) today.

Announcing the official exchange rates, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) declared the buying rate as Rs. 311.26 per USD and the selling rate as 328.60 per USD.

Meanwhile, the Middle Rate of the USD/LKR SPOT exchange rate stood at Rs. 317.31 today.

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Milk Powder prices slashed




Milk Powder importers have decided to reduce the price of imported milk powder products due to a drop in prices in the global market.

Accordingly, the price of a 1Kg and 400g packet of imported milk powder will be reduced by Rs. 200/- and Rs. 80/- respectively.

The price revision will be in effect from next Monday.

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Aliraja to buy state-owned shares in Telecom & Lanka Hospitals!




It was reported that Lycamobile owner Subaskaran Aliraja, who has become the ultimate owner of three radio and television channels in Sri Lanka, has offered to buy state-owned shares in Sri Lanka Telecom PLC and Lanka Hospital PLC.

The Cabinet approved to sell the shares owned by the state in these two companies.

In a notification to the Colombo Stock Exchange, Sri Lanka Telecom PLC and Lanka Hospital PLC said that the sale of these shares will take place as recommended by the State Enterprise Reform Unit established under the Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policy.

The Treasury holds 49.50% of the issued share capital of Sri Lanka Telecom PLC.

Meanwhile, 51.34% of the share capital of Lanka Hospital PLC is held by the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation on behalf of the State.

How Aliraja owned TV & Radio channels!

Aliraja is currently the owner of EAP Broadcasting Networks which operates two television channels including Swarnavahini and 3 radio channels. 

He also owns Sky Media Networks that operates two TV channels including Sitha TV and 3 Radio channels as well as Max Broadcasting Networks which operates one TV channel and radio channel each.

Although arrangements have been made to show this as a local investment, it is said that this is completely a foreign investment.

However, economists are of the opinion that Aliraja, who has made huge investments in the Indian film industry, taking over these media networks and telecom and communication networks will have a powerful impact on Sri Lanka’s national security and economy.

Swarnavahini deal

The media earlier reported how he invested money in Swarnavahini still remains a secret, and how he had credited the funds from an account which is not under his name to make the investment.

The State Intelligence Service informed the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) and the Ministry of Mass Media that several directors of the foreign company, which bought shares of the EAP Group of Companies including the ‘Swarnavahini’ media network which was facing a financial crisis, had maintained close connections with the LTTE.

The Ministry of Defence has informed the TRC and the Ministry of Mass Media on November 15, 2019 through letter number MOD / TEC / 01 / MGMR Network / 2019 (04).

A portion of the assets of EAP Group of Companies had been purchased for Ben Holdings Pvt Ltd.

How Subaskaran violated Companies Act

Today, this company has been able to indirectly obtain 60% ownership of Swarnavahini by violating the laws and regulations of Sri Lanka.

This is because Ben Holdings Private Company has bought 40% of shares while an individual by the name Alex Lowell has bought the remaining 20% of shares.

Meanwhile, 40% of the shares owned by Swarnamahal, EAP Films and other companies belonging to the EAP Business Group are owned by a Singaporean company, Blue Summit Capital.

It was revealed that three members of Ben Holdings Pvt. Ltd had direct links with the LTTE when the company was attempting to buy MGMR Networks owned by MGM Networks Pvt. Ltd.

Before buying a TV channel, the directors of the company that was making the purchase must obtain a clearance certificate from the Defence Ministry. Accordingly, this information was revealed when they were trying to get the relevant clearance certificate.

The directors were not required to obtain clearance certificates from the Defence Ministry when buying Swarnavahini since the license of the TV station was old.

It was revealed that  Subaskaran Aliraja, who was born in Mullaitivu, Sri Lanka and later moved to France and became a millionaire, has funded all parties including Ben Holdings Pvt. Ltd, Blue Summit Capital and Alex Lowell. 

He is said to be a strong financial supporter of the British Conservative Party and former Prime Minister John Major.

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