Rs 180 M VAT fraud suspected
Revenue officers involved in deleting, altering data
By Premalal Wijerathne
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) launched an investigation yesterday into allegations of tampering of data, pertaining to Value Added Tax (VAT), stored in computers at the Inland Revenue Department (IRD).Data tampering is suspected to have led to a Rs 180 million VAT fraud.
A senior police officer said a team of sleuths comprising specialists on Information Technology and officers attached to the CID Financial Crimes Division, had been sent to the Department, to investigate the incident.
Police suspect the data on VAT have either been altered or deleted, with the assistance of some revenue officers.
It is learnt that several senior officials of the Department were being grilled and statements recorded in connection with the suspected fraud.
Commissioner-General of the IRD, Mallika Samarasekera, told Ceylon Today she had made a complaint to the CID about the alterations and tampering of the details of VAT payers on computers.
She explained that the fraud came to light only this year, but is suspected to have been continuing since 2010.
The Commissioner-General said, she has taken several steps to protect the good name of the Department and added she has appointed a committee to look into public complaints.In 2004, the CID launched a full-scale investigation into Rs 3.6 billion being swindled from the IRD, which was the largest VAT scam ever recorded in the country.