Sep 14, 2021

Garlic scam probe lands Thushan in hot water  Featured

Reports say Consumer Affairs Authority Director Thushan Gunawardene is facing political pressure to resign from his post as he is investigating the missing 56,000 kg of garlic from the Sathosa warehouse.

He told the Divaina newspaper that he was appointed by President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to prevent corruption and waste and that he will not leave unless removed from the post.

He further added that investigations into the garlic scam has revealed that the Sathosa has bought them after cabinet approval and that the stock was sold to a private company without an invoice. 

Similar investigations are ongoing about the import of Udhu, which has been sold to a third party. 

The garlic has been imported in the guise of being offered for sale at Sathosa and was worth Rs. 20,500,000. However, the CAA investigations have revealed the private company has paid only Rs. 7.4 Mn. 

When the garlic was cleared at the Customs, the Sathosa officials have stated that they are fit for consumption and once they’ve arrived at the warehouse, have declared the stock unfit for human consumption. 

When items are imported for Sathosa, they are not taxed and reports say, there have been similar incidents in the past, where various products have been imported in the guise of been for Sathosa and sold to private companies. 

The supermarket price of garlic is Rs. 350 a kilo and investigations have revealed that the garlic stock has been sold by Sathosa for Rs. 135 per kilo.

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