Probe against A’pura SATHOSA official hits snag
By J.T. Silva and Chamara Amarasooriya
A probe being conducted against a top official of the SATHOSA branch in Anuradhapura, over the alleged incident of allowing 800 bottles of liquor, from its liquor store, to be released unlawfully, during the travel restrictions and when all liquor outlets had been sealed, has hit a snag.
It is alleged that the bottles of liquor had been transported in a vehicle belonging to the Army with the direct intervention of this top official. It is further claimed that part of the stock of liquor, removed surreptitiously, has already been hidden elsewhere. Sources said that though it had been claimed earlier that a full inquiry into the incident had commenced, all inquiries had come to a standstill.
The Manager of the branch and the official in charge of the liquor outlet have been transferred. It is further said that the entire CCTV camera system of the branch had malfunctioned at the time of the incident, which had taken place at around 5.30 p.m. on 7 June and to date no further details had come to light.
Meanwhile, Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardene had written to the Ministry Secretary Badrani Jayawardene to institute legal action against all those responsible for the incident irrespective of their status.
When contacted the Anuradhapura Excise Office stated that they had authorised the release of 250 bottles of liquor of various brands to the Army Camp at Galnewa.