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Tycoon nabbed for water piracy

*Suspect had building near Water Board

*Tapped supply lines in three locations

*Over Rs one million revenue lost

A prominent businessman who obtained water for 15 years by illegally tapping major supply lines close to the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWS&DB) Head Office, Ratmalana was arrested Saturday.

The suspect had owned a building complex near the Board and had obtained water illegally by tapping the supply lines in three locations.

The revenue loss to the Board due to this water piracy is estimated to be over Rs one million. The suspect had been operating a Chinese restaurant and a boarding house for males.

The investigation unit recently apprehended four other hoteliers from the same area who had tapped supply lines to obtain water illegally.

The Court had imposed fines amounting to nearly Rs 800,000.

Chief Government Whip, Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament Thursday that illegal water tapping caused a Rs 2.7 billion revenue loss to the NWS&DB every year.

He said that enhanced efforts were being made to identify these illegal tappers and apprehend them.

However, the existing laws and punishment including the amount of fines were not acting as a deterrent to prevent these consumers from resuming their illegal tapping activities again, he said.

The Minister said that his Ministry plans to bring in new laws to stop this loss of revenue.

Courtesy: DailyNews

Posted on Monday, December 13, 2010 @ 09:32:51 LKT by

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