DMT accused of attempt to cover up motorcycle racket

*More than 1,000 vehicles in police custody

There were more than 10,000 locally assembled motorcycles in police custody across the country and their owners had been duped into buying them by organised racketeers, Ceylon Motorcyclists’ Association (CMA) CMA Secretary Chirantha Amarasinghe told The Island.

Amarasinghe said: "It is a big racket to import motorcycle parts from Japan and assemble them illegally here. The racketeers have political backing. They replace chassis and engine numbers with new ones. They also prepare documents for these vehicles.

"However, under the new government police have confiscated a large number of illegally assembled motorcycles. The government also declared a grace period for people who owned such bicycles to register their vehicles, but the problem is that a lot of people who own these bikes don’t know they have been illegally assembled."

The CMA has also filed a Right to Information (RTI) application with the Department of Motor Traffic (DMT) for the number of Japanese motorcycles registered in Sri Lanka between 2004 and 2017 so that they can figure out how many locally assembled bikes are on the roads.  "The DMT, however, has informed us that it has no information about the number of Japanese motorcycles registered in Sri Lanka between 2004 and 2017. If you look at your vehicle registration document, the country of manufacture is stated. Therefore, the DMT can’t say they don’t know the number of Japanese motor cycles registered in the country. They are just trying to cover up a racket."

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