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President directs Excise Dept. to take strict action against tax stamp fraud

Tuesday, 5 September 2023 00:28 –      – 69

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The Excise Department is to take effective and urgent measures to cancel the licenses of producers who affix fake tax stamps on alcohol products.

Addressing representatives of liquor producers last week, Excise Commissioner General Saman Jayasingha said President Ranil Wickremesinghe has instructed him personally to take effective action irrespective of the business and persons involved.

Jayasingha had added that this racket could not be carried out without collusion between manufacturers and retailers, and noted such misdeeds come at great costs to Government revenue. He added the department was exploring the possibility of installing a centralised video monitoring system, and that all manufacturers will be instructed to set up surveillance systems by the end of the month.

Last week, alcohol products with fake tax stamps were discovered at over 100 outlets island-wide, amidst widespread allegations of this racket supported by senior officials at the Excise Department. This was also brought up in Parliament by main opposition SJB MP Buddhika Pathirana, who said a Superintendent attached to the department was involved in the racket.

State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya assured the house of a full scale investigation into the charges.

 

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