Rs 20M extortion charges against Devananda

BY Mirudhula Thambiah

The Jaffna District Lorry Owners’ Association lodged a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Secretariat against Former Minister Douglas Devananda and his Maheswari Foundation yesterday (4) for extortion amounting to Rs 20 million.

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian, M.A. Sumanthiran who lodged the complaint at the Anti-Corruption Secretariat on behalf of the lorry owners told Ceylon Today, the Maheswari Foundation belonging to Devananda has taken Rs 5,000 from each lorry owner to out through their registrations and they were compelled to pay Rs 300 for each load carried in the area.

Douglas3_2.img_assist_custom“Lorry owners are members of the foundation but about 500 of them have come forward to lodge the complaint now, as they were reluctant to take action during the previous regime,” he said.

He added that the lorry owners have demanded repayment of the monies extorted from them. It has been estimated that the foundation is allegedly under obligation to pay a total sum of Rs 20 million to these 500 lorry owners.

Parliamentarian Sumanthiran also said, this issue is also connected to the illegal sand mining racket that is taking place in the North, because these trucks also transport sand as well.

There are several others also preparing to lodge a complaint regarding the illegal sand mining. It has been taking place since around the year 2010 up to around the Presidential Election in January this year.