Peace for the World

Peace for the World
First democratic leader of Justice the Godfather of the Sri Lankan Tamil Struggle: Honourable Samuel James Veluppillai Chelvanayakam

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Inland Revenue Dept. harbours extortion mafia

Inland Revenue Dept. harbours extortion mafia

Apr 08, 2017

The Inland Revenue Department is harbouring a mafia that extorts money from telephone subscribers whose monthly bill exceeds Rs. 10,000, persons who buy vehicles and luxury apartments and those having a credit card bill of more than Rs. 100,000 a month, by threatening them that they will be fined for having evaded paying taxes, it has come to light.

The exposure came through the complaints received by the president’s office, and a senior official there confirmed to us about the racket. These complaints accuse a deputy commissioner general and an assistant commissioner of leading the extortionists and also charge the department’s commissioner general of not taking action despite the complaints. The official said the president would be informed about the complaints and action taken. He requested those who have been victimized by this mafia to inform the president’s office in writing.
Using a letterhead of the department, a considerable number of telephone subscribers, credit card owners and buyers of vehicles have been summoned to the department, saying the tax administration (corporate small entities and non-corporate sector) division was sending them the warnings as per clause 106(14) of the Inland Revenue Act no. 10 of 2006.
According to reports reaching us, those who had responded to the letter and gone to the department have been threatened by the middlemen of the mafia that legal action would be taken against them for having evaded paying taxes after having spent such big amounts of money. Later, they were told to pay them money to clear them. Even state officials have been summoned in that manner. Those who know this to be a racket have publicly condemned the department officials. However, this mafia has been able to extort money from those who do not have much understanding about tax payments.
An inquiry by us found that the letter quotes clause 106(14) of the Inland Revenue Act no. 10 of 2006, but it violates clause 208 of the same act, and that a tax administration (corporate small entities and non-corporate sector) division does not exist.
This is the first time such a letter has been issued by a deputy commissioner general of the department, said department sources. Hurriedly drafted in order to extort money, the letter has many mistakes too. Telephone service providers have contacted the department and expressed their displeasure over their subscribers being inconvenienced in that manner.
The department has a proper procedure and special divisions to deal with tax evasions. The department’s name is being tarnished and public’s trust in it affected due to its chief not taking action against this mafia, which will go on to adversely affect state revenue collections further, the sources added.