The CID took into custody three officers of the Agricultural and Agrarian Services Insurance Board on suspicion of swindling a sum of Rs. 15 million from the monies allocated to farmers as compensation following the Mavil Aru fiasco perpetrated by the LTTE last year.
The Government compensated farmers, who were deprived of water for agricultural purposes following the closure of the Mavil Aru anicut by the LTTE. Nearly 15,000 paddy farmers had their cultivation destroyed and the Government compensated them.
Two of the officers taken into custody were from the head office in Colombo, while the other was based in the branch office in Trincomalee, Secretary to the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services T. M. Abyawickrema told The Island yesterday. He said that according to investigations conducted so far it had been revealed that a sum of Rs 15 million, that should have been paid to the affected farmers, has been swindled.
Prior to the arrests of the three officials the Ministry set up a special investigation unit following complaints by a section of the affected farmers that they were not paid compensation.
The suspects arrested, it was alleged, had submitted false names and addresses and had fraudulently altered the amounts mentioned in the cash vouchers.
The CID is conducting further investigations to ascertain whether a larger sum of money had been swindled and whether any other officials were involved in the racket.