Thursday, 08 May 2014 - 19:35
Former commissioner sentenced to 102 years in prison for VAT fraud; Fined Rs. 12 billion
The Deputy Commissioner of Inland Revenue Gnanasiri de Soyza Jayatilake was jailed for 102 years today after he was found guilty of a Rs. 4 billion VAT fraud.
In addition, the Colombo High Court imposed a fine of Rs. 12 billion on Gnanasiri de Soyza Jayatilake.
The VAT scam is believed to be South Asia’s biggest racket.
Panadura High Court Judge Kumuduni Wickramasinghe who heard this case was present at the Colombo High Court to deliver the verdict today.
The suspect was indicted under 34 charges and was sentenced to three years for each charge after he pleaded guilty for all the charges.
The main charge against the suspect was his misuse of nearly Rs. 4 billion in collaboration with Nevil Shantha Wattaladeniya in Colombo between the 15th of November 2002 and 15th of August 2004.
The case was heard for seven years and the suspect was in remand prison from 22nd of March 2006.
Over 100 witnesses among 252 nominated to appear before court, testified themselves before the court.
14 suspects were sued at the beginning of the case, and judgments were passed on five suspects among them, after they pleaded guilty during the trial.
The Court was informed at the beginning of the case that eight suspects out of the remaining nine had fled the country.
Ahampodi Gnanasiri de Soyza Jayatilake, the only suspect who remained in the country pleaded guilty during the trial.
Having passed judgment today, the Colombo High Court ordered the convict to pay the fine within a month or else to confiscate his private property and cover the Rs. 12 billion.