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Anti-corruption watchdog halts 20 sewerage projects

The proposed cost was enough to establish sewerage systems in 40 islands, the ACC found.



The Anti-Corruption Commission has halted 20 sewerage projects awarded to a Sri Lankan company by the previous administration.

The US$56.2 million contracts signed with Haycarb PLC would cause heavy losses, the watchdog determined, instructing the president’s office and finance ministry this week to terminate the agreements.

The projects for the installation of sewage wastewater removal networks were awarded by the state utility Fenaka Corporation in July.

Haycarb PLC, a Sri Lanka-based company that specialises in coconut shell-activated carbon production, would complete the projects within one and a half years, Fenaka said at the time.

The ACC noted the cost of the project was enough to establish sewerage systems in 40 islands, accusing the former Fenaka management of trying enrich an individual or individuals through the project, which was to be financed with a huge loan.

Last October, a performance audit of Fenaka exposed mismanagement, inefficiency and questionable hiring practices.

Fenaka was mired in a corruption scandal in 2016. The former managing director resigned after it emerged that Fenaka was owed US$1.1 million from a speedboat company that was paid MVR17.8 million to buy dollars.

Aside from the foreign exchange scam, a previous audit also uncovered corrupt fuel supply and procurement deals that cost millions in losses.