State vs State: CAA to sue Cement Corp over old cement in new bags!

By Ravi Ladduwahetty

In an unprecedented case, where one State institution will seek legal action against another, the Consumer Affairs Authority will sue the Cement Corporation for packing old cement, which had passed the shelf life, into new bags and releasing the product into the market!

This is a serious situation where we have detected this fraud based on a tip off which we received. There is an inquiry going on after which we will be taking legal action against the Cement Corporation, Consumer Affairs Minister Johnston Fernando told The Island late Tuesday night.

This follows a raid by the Consumer Affairs Authority team which also had its Director General Chandraratne Pallegama visiting the main stores of the Cement Corporation at Maradana, where there were 2,000 new bags which were ready for loading with the old cement and where there had also been a large number of empty new bags which were brought in for the operation, Minister Fernando said.

All the bags and the 2,000 cement filled bags, a lorry and a container truck have been sealed. A stock of the old cement had been dispatched to the Government Analyst’s Department for testing as well, the Minister said.

Meanwhile, the Police have bared another similar fraud in which a private businessman is allegedly running an operation at Boralesgamuwa where he also packs old cement which has passed shelf life into new bags.

The old cement, which has been imported from India under the brand name Dalmia had been repacked and sold in the local market under the brand name Chettinadi.

Police has taken into custody a total of 3,200 bags which had been filled, a further 340 bags, which were expected to be filled, a small lorry, a container truck and a date stamp. Investigations have revealed that the operation was meant for a selling point at Maradana which was done in a two roomed flat which was acquired on a monthly rental of Rs. 15,000.

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