Tuesday, 15 June 2004  
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Special committee to probe alleged fraud and corruption at MILCO

by Uditha Kumarasinghe

Agriculture and Livestock Minister Anura Kumara Dissanayake has appointed a special committee to probe into the alleged large scale fraud and corruption by MILCO Private Ltd which imported milk powder for the CWE during the past two years of the UNF regime.

According to Minister Dissanayake he has obtained vital information linking MILCO with several instances of malpractices when importing milk powder to the CWE. MILCO comes under the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry.

Under the directions of Minister Dissanayake, Ministry Secretary Tissa Warnasuriya has appointed a special committee to look into this fraud. The three member committee comprises Dr. Wasantha Bandara, Dr. U. S. Bandara and Attorney-at-Law Kapila Gamage.

The Minister has informed the Secretary to hand over the committee report to him within two weeks.

The Minister said the committee will investigate the decisions taken by the MILCO Board of Directors to import milk powder to the CWE. The committee will also look into the recommendations made by MILCO executives to the Board of Directors regarding these decisions.

The committee will further investigate on the remaining milk powder stocks and its transactions, he said.

The Minister said: "According to the findings of the committee, if any MILCO official had engaged in any malpractice, strong legal action will be taken against them in order to prevent a recurrence of such incidents."

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