A woman named Nirosha Nishanthi, who was arrested while in hiding after defrauding millions of rupees from a large number of people living in Galle and surrounding areas by assuring to pay high interests, was released on a surety bail of Rs.50 million by the Galle Magistrate’s Court.
The Illegal Assets Investigation Division of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has received information that this woman has also been engaged in a racket of importing and distributing expensive foreign liquor under the guise of re-exporting them.
A separate investigation has been launched into this as well. It has been revealed that she received the support of corrupt Customs officials in this smuggling.
One such Customs officer has been identified and the CID officers have interrogated him.
Upon questioning, he said that he had given her money as a depositor and was defrauded by her. However, the investigation revealed that the Customs officer has not made any complaint to the police in this regard.
An analysis of the phone records showed that the said Customs officer and the suspect woman contacted each other frequently.
The woman has taken money from many people saying that she will invest in a business of importing and selling liquor.
She had been unable to pay back her customers after a consignment of foreign liquor imported under the guise of re-shipment was stuck at the Customs or was unable to import the consignment as assured.
Investigations revealed that there were people who had given her more than Rs.10 million in cash.
In the past, there was a racket of importing expensive alcohol from European countries under the guise of re-exporting them to the Maldives. As a part of this racket, Customs seals were broken at the warehouses, bottles of alcohol were removed from containers and then replaced with bottles of water and finally Customs seals were placed again before shipping those containers to the Maldives.
The police and Customs were able to uncover this smuggling.
The Illegal Assets Investigation Division said that this woman is also suspected to have carried out a similar smuggling and a comprehensive investigation is being conducted in this regard.
On August 21, she was arrested by the CID officers for illegally amassing assets by defrauding the people.