Sri Lanka Mirror first reported this scam in an article titled “Scam by Access to obtain the 800 million tender!” on October 06.
This company has appeared as three separate companies, although their directors are the same.
Of seven applicants, two have been shortlisted – UTSCH/ACCESS and Avonsmart/Tonnjes E.A.S.T.
The other applicants have been notified about that by letter signed by transport ministry secretary G.S. Vithanage.
Given below is the letter:
Avonsmart and Tonnjes E.A.S.T.
The main shareholder of Avonsmart is Arinma Holdings, whose director board members are family members of ACCESS chairman Sumal Perera.
They are his daughter Rumali Swasha Perera, son-in-law Ashan Praveen Malalasekara and Sanjiv Prasanna Malalasekara, brother of Ashan Praveen Malalasekara.
The following document confirms it:
Also, when the company was founded in 2008, Sumal Perera was its board member, which is proven by the following document:
Furthermore, the main shareholder of Arinma Holdings is Avonsmart Engineering:
How German company got split
The German company UTSCH Tonnjes, which had the tender previously, got split as UTSCH and Tonnjes and allied with ACCESS and Avonsmart to submit two tenders.
The website www.utchtoennjes.com shows both UTSCH and Tonnjes as partner companies.
Also, the two have the same managing director, Markus Muller, as shown by the documents given below
Technical committee behind it
The technical committee headed by S. Maheswaran is behind the plans to award the tender to a company owned by Sumal Perera.
That is confirmed by the notes made in violation of tender procedures.
The technical committee has ignored the failure of these companies to submit audit reports of three years as being non-essential, saying such reports will only relate to their past performances.
Also, the tender committee has accepted other certificates these companies had submitted, instead of the requirement to submit the ISO 7591 certification as mentioned in the tender guidelines.
Both companies having these very same shortcomings prove that they are the same.
Other bidders are of the opinion that the two companies of Sumal Perera were shortlisted at the instigation of R. Paskaralingam, member of the Economic Management Committee and ACCESS consultant.
Shortlisting two companies with the same directors will be advantageous in that any legal action against the tender winner will see ACCESS group continuing to supply the number plates.
The Department of Motor Traffic buys at Rs. 1,200 per number plate, although the cost of production is only around Rs. 500.
Irrespective of either of the two companies getting the tender, the number places will be produced by using the old machines and will be below standards.
Awarding the tender to Sumal Perera will deny an opportunity to save between Rs. 40 million and Rs. 50 million per month to the country.