Govt. baffled at ‘ big fish’ escaping bribery net


by Zacki Jabbar

The government said yesterday that it was as baffled as the public at the investigative authorities giving priority to corruption cases running into a few million rupees while ignoring the billions that had been stolen from state coffers.

Addressing the weekly Cabinet Press Briefing at the Information Department, Senaratne said that the Financial Crimes Investigation Division ( FCID) had been set up primarily to inquire into the large scale frauds, but somehow that was not happening.

Asked what the government was doing about it, Senaratne replied that the issue had been discussed at the highest levels."I am also baffled. The FCID and Attorney General’s Department have been advised to catch the big fish first."

The Minister said that agents of those involved in big frauds had submitted complaints relating to small corruption cases to the authorities and they were being mysteriously taken up.

There was also a delay at the Attorney General’s Department, he noted.

When it was pointed out that the government even after being in power for nearly 21 months, had not been able to prove even a single allegation of corruption against powerful members of the last Rajapaksa regime, Senaratne said: "Give us a little time to ensure that the big cases are given priority."

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