Instructions have been given to launch an investigation into an incident of a local official being bribed in order to disrupt the litigation process to seek compensation from the insurers of the MV X-Press Pearl vessel, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said.
The X-Press Pearl vessel, which left the Hazira Port in India on May 20, 2021, caught fire near the Colombo Port on May 20.
There were 1,486 containers of nitric acid and other chemicals on board and many of them caught fire while many other containers sank.
It caused enormous damage to the coastal areas and ecosystems near Negombo.
Many parties questioned the government as to why the lawsuit has not yet been filed even though there is a possibility of obtaining a compensation of USD 6.2 billion from the shipping company.
According to experts, only 32 days are left to file a lawsuit.
Experts also questioned why the authorities decided to file a lawsuit in Singapore when they could have gained more advantage by starting the legal process in Sri Lanka.
Minister Rajapakshe said that he had received information that the insurance company of the ship had given a bribe of USD 250 million to an official in Sri Lanka to disrupt the process of seeking compensation from the insurers.