Sathosa liquor theft investigation hits snag; 250 bottles release to Army – Official

A investigation launched into the liquor theft at the Anuradhapura Sathosa outlet has hit a snag.

Recently a probe was launched against a top Sathosa official who had permitted 800 bottles of liquor to be sold from its liquor store, despite travel restrictions and the island wide sealing of liquor outlets by the Excise Department.

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.

Moreover, part of the stock, 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.

Following the incident 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 authorized the release of 250 bottles of liquor of various brands to the Army Camp at Galnewa.

CT

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