Cashier at a Sri Lankan toll booth handling money

Exposed: Cashiers Robbing Funds from Sri Lanka Expressways

Investigating Revenue Leakage and Corruption in Toll Booth Operations

Cashiers at Sri Lanka’s expressways are estimated to be stealing up to 20 percent of fees Secretary to the Highways Ranjith Subasinghe told the parliament’s Committee on Public Enterprises.

Members of the committee said highway tolls of the Road Development Authority had surged on the day when the military had operated the booths during a strike by cashiers, raising questions about the collections on other days.

“Based on the day the Army operated the toll booths, there is a minimum of 10 to 20 percent revenue leakage,” Rubasinghe told the COPE according to the broadcast recording of proceedings.

An RDA official said 19 cashiers have so far been identified but there were not enough cashiers to run the toll booths so they have not been interdicted.

The Representative of the Auditor General’s office questioned how officers who have been found to have committed fraud remain in the public service.

RDA officials said there was shortage of cashiers but some who were placed in offices as management assistants and sought an order from the COPE direct them to be placed as cashiers.

There was also a move to hire persons on service contracts until and electronic toll system comes on line next year and place them on the entry booths and not exits.

An unknown person was heard saying most of the cashiers were from the South.

An RDA officer said several cashiers manning the exit at Athurugiriya was found to have been stealing money, but no action could be taken due to a shortage of cashiers.

It was done by shutting off CCTV cameras and cutting wires.

Another official said during the power cuts during the economic crisis, generators could not be run for the whole day due to lack of fuel and later the computers were damaged and wires were cut by mice.

The COPE chairman said the ‘mice story’ was something they had heard before.