Garlic scam

What was the loss?

Over 17.9 M (According to news reports)[1]


The case came into light following the act of whistleblowing by a Sathosa employee who informed the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) regarding two containers of garlic with over 56,000 kilograms of garlic which were being illegally sold off to a private company by a group of officials in Sathosa, with the support of Sri Lanka Ports Authority, for private profit directly from the Port, causing a major loss to Sathosa.[2] The former Executive Director of the CAA, commenting on this case during a TV talk show explained that this case was supported by several high-ranking officials at Lanka Sathosa. It was also reported later that several journalists were summoned by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), regarding the statements that the former CAA Executive Director made.

Recently, it was also reported that the data related to the garlic scam ‘have been deleted or destroyed from the computer database of state retailer Lanka Sathosa’.[3]

What is the corruption?

  • Misuse of public funds
  • Misuse of public positions for private gain
  • Lack of transparency

Who are the victims?

  • Lanka Sathosa as a State entity due to the loss caused
  • The general public due to the high cost of garlic and the loss of state funds that could have been invested to address the needs of people.

What has been done?

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) initiated an investigation following a complaint made by the importer of the aforementioned consignments of garlic.[4]

What can be done?

  • Maintain pressure to continue investigations in an independent and impartial manner.
  • Demand that law be enforced on the perpetrators.
  • Demand the public disclosure of the findings of the investigations by the law enforcement authorities.