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Fake security labels on alcohol bottles

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The Minister of Justice stated that the scam is currently costing the government Rs. 60 billion, further escalating the ongoing dispute over the application of fake security stickers on liquor bottles in accordance with the Department of Excise requirements.

Before the security sticker feature was implemented in 2017, the Excise Department was losing the government $40 billion in tax revenue as a result of counterfeit goods entering the market, according to a statement made by Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe during the third reading of the 2023 budget.

Nevertheless, despite the fact that the claimed company was known to be blacklisted in three different nations, the authorities had chosen to award the contract for printing the stickers to the infamous Madras Security Printers (MSP).

“If this company provides the Excise Department with 10 million real security stickers, it will provide the private sector with 20 million counterfeit security stickers. I started preparing to bring a lawsuit against this dishonest firm to the Court of Appeal, but I was unable to finish it. The government implemented this policy to make up for a loss of Rs. 40 billion, but it has resulted in an annual loss of Rs. 60 billion, according to Minister Rajapakshe.

The Justice Minister was replying to a statement made by Opposition Parliamentarian Buddhika Pathirana, who claimed that the Excise Department and Finance Ministry’s top officials were to blame for awarding the contract to a company that was on a blacklist.

Pathirana, a Samagi Jana Balawegaya MP who is fighting a never-ending battle in the House against the security sticker scam, claimed that certain private liquor manufacturers utilize these phony stickers on their products, which are primarily made of chemically enhanced toddy.

Excise officials are attempting to give the contract back to the same company in order to make an additional profit even though the contract period granted to this notorious company is soon to expire.

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