An assessor and a clerk of the Anurdhapura Inland Revenue Department who solicited Rs.400,000 and accepted Rs.375,000 as bribe were remanded till September 28, by the Colombo Chief Magistrate yesterday.
Bribery Officers C. H. Chandrasiri and Ranjith Bandara producing the assessor Anurudha Abeyratne of Gurudeniya Wanduragala Anuradhapura and the clerk Uduma Jaleela Begum of Jayanthi Mawatha Anuradhapura submitted that they arrested the two suspects while accepting Rs.375,000 from a businessman of Anuradhapura.
The officers told the Magistrate that the assessor had solicited Rs.400,000 from the businessman as a bribe to assess the businessman’s income to read as Rs.1,600,000 for this year and to the next year. However the suspects had later agreed to accept Rs.375,000 to assess the tax accordingly.
The complainant businessman from Galenbindunu Wewa who is a regular income tax payer was told by the first suspect that his income returns for the current year were erroneous and the assessor had demanded the bribe in order to calculate it to read as Rs.1,600,000.
The Businessman had complained to the Commission to investigate Into Allegations or Corruption initiated a raid to arrest the suspects while they accepted the bribe.
Senior Counsel Neville Abeyratne appearing for the fist suspect contended that his client cannot be charged under the Bribery Act since he had never solicited the bribe or accepted the bribe. He said the monies were recovered from the custody of the second suspect and not from the custody of his client. He said the money had been recovered from the second suspect in custody when she tried to count the money.
Bribery Officer Chandrasena said that the first suspect had solicited the money from the complainant and when it was given to him he had asked the complainant to hand it over to the second suspect . t was then that the money was given to the second suspect and they were arrested when she was counting the money. Thus the first suspect was the kingpin and he could be charged under the Bribery Act. (T. Farook Thajudeen)