VIDEO: Ex-Petroleum Secretary charged with corruption

VIDEO: Ex-Petroleum Secretary charged with corruption

October 23, 2012   11:42 am

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The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption has filed action against the former secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Industries, Titus Jayawardena and a CPC official for alleged corruption in import of substandard petrol.   

The case has been filed at the Colombo Magistrate’s Court regarding the calling of a tender for importing of a consignment of petrol between May 03, 2011 and April 28, 2012.

The case is to be taken up on January 22, 2013.  

The CPC came under strong criticism from the opposition and the public last year following the controversial importing of low quality petrol, which caused damages to many vehicles before its distribution was halted.

The government had allocated Rs.40 million to compensate vehicle owners who were affected by the inferior fuel, which was deemed unfit for vehicles and used for power generation and industrial purposes.

The substandard petrol fiasco was followed by numerous finger pointing by both the Petroleum Ministry and the Petroleum Corporation, while the then Secretary to the Ministry of Petroleum Titus Jayawardena prematurely retired from his post.

The shipment of petrol, supplied by the Singapore unit of Dubai-based Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), had arrived at the Colombo Harbour between June 18 and 20, 2011 and was subsequently distributed for consumption.

It was reported in June last year that shipment was brought to Sri Lanka with the approval of the Petroleum Ministry Secretary, following fears of a potential fuel shortage. The decision was also taken while Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Chairman Harry Jayawardena was out of the country.
 
Depleting stock had prompted the calling of tenders for shipments of fuel in order to maintain stocks for the next three months. However, Ministry Secretary Jayawardena had cancelled two of the tenders which had in turn threatened to create a shortage.
 
The Secretary had then received cabinet approval for an emergency shipment of oil which had allegedly been the cause of the malfunctioning vehicles.

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