Top PMB officials interdicted | Sunday Observer
Misappropriation of Rs. 3,000 million

Top PMB officials interdicted

24 January, 2021

The Paddy Marketing Board (PMB), Deputy General Manager (Operations), Director Finance and a Regional Manager have been interdicted for misappropriating nearly Rs.3,000 million funds of the PMB.

On my instructions, these three top officials of the PMB were interdicted on Friday (22) in connection with a series of frauds committed by them including, taking money from rice mill owners to sell paddy and misappropriating PMB funds to purchase Polysacks bags to store paddy, Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

The Minister said, “We have decided to take legal action against these PMB officers and all files in connection with the frauds will be handed over to the CID tomorrow (25). As per my instructions, the PMB has sent me the relevant files and documents .”

Minister Aluthgamage said the former Yahapalana Government had defended the frauds and malpractices committed by these corrupt PMB officers, allowing them to continue in their jobs without any hindrance. During the Yahapalana regime investigations had been conducted on some of the frauds and corruption in the PMB. However, the files and other documents relevant to the investigations had been deliberately hidden to cover up the case. According to information received, three top PMB officials had misused nearly Rs.3,000 million belonging to the PMB.

The Minister said the CID has already arrested the Regional Manager of the PMB over a fraud committed in the sale of 30,000 metric tons of paddy and added that he is now in remand custody. The Regional Manager was arrested in Kilinochchi on December 31 last year, on a tip-off given to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) by the Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage on December 24.

In a letter to the IGP, Minister Aluthgamage had stated that this Regional Manager of the PMB had obtained a commission of Rs 3.00 per kilogram of paddy from rice mill owners when selling paddy to small rice mills. The Minister had been apprised of the matter by a rice mill owner who had bought 1.2 million kilograms of paddy from the PMB.