16 July, 2024


SriLankan Airlines: Staff Caught With Drugs & Pilfering At Work – Cases Go Underground

16 detection cases made by a single SriLankan Airlines security staff member whilst checking staff entering and departing the Katunayake premises are yet to be investigated by the airline Colombo Telegraph reliably learns.

Pradeepa Kekulawala

The submission of a detailed report titled ‘Detections Report In BIA’ sent to Security Manager Mahesh Perera dated 15th August 2018 for investigation is in Colombo Telegraph’s possession.

Whilst majority of these detections were made during the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa era, political interference and prejudice displayed by both the Security & Investigations and Human Resources Departments of SriLankan Airlines are reasons as to why these cases have been shelved, in some cases for over four years.

It is yet to be established as to why the current Head of Human Resources Pradeepa Kekulawala whose monthly salary was revealed in a RTI released report to be in excess of Rs 950,000 a month continues to shield these reported staff.

A security staff member of the airline speaking to Colombo Telegraph on condition of anonymity said “In one reported case a staff member was caught with drugs in his possession but no action has been taken yet. Staff who were detected with prohibited items such as knives etc are potential candidates who participate in ripping off passenger bags and pilfer items from passengers especially of those expatriates who return from the Gulf. Those caught with multiple currencies are mainly staff who are supposed to provide assistance to passengers and demand money for services such as for providing wheel chair assistance that are usually provided free of charge by all the airlines.”

All staff who was apprehended in these 16 cases reported below continues to enjoy the privilege of being currently employed by SriLankan Airlines.

Detection Case 1

Detection of prohibited articles – 01 Rambo Knife and 01 knuckle duster at entrance to the hangar main gate on 29th May 2014.

Staff member: K.C.D.N Perera (200260) – Aircraft Mechanic

Items found hidden in the inner pocket of his bag.

Detection Case 2

Detection of 27 jewelry items and 9 foreign currency notes at operations gate – 2nd August 2014

Staff member: W.M.H.J. Rodrigo (9216) Flight Operations Executive

Items detected hidden inside a Dove face cream pack

Detection Case 3

Detection of 01 packet of cannabis at operations main gate on 21st August 2014

Staff member: S.S.H.M.W.G.R.K.Seneviratne Trainee Aircraft Technician.

Items detected hidden inside his helmet.

Detection Case 4

Detection of 06 Champagne bottles at Cabin Crew locker area

Cabin Crew had arrived from flight UL 564 on 28th August 2014.

Staff members: Flight Steward D.Y.Weeraratne (17822), Flight Steward Q.C.Saucher (19718) and Flight Steward E.Athukorala (20102)

Items detected in their cabin baggage with no proof of purchase.

Detection Case number 5

Detection of 42 engineering materials and tools belonging to SriLankan Airlines at the hangar main gate on 13th September 2014

Staff member: J.K.Jayasekara – Junior Aircraft Technician

Items found in his personal carry-on bag.

Detection Case 6

Detection of Staff member found under the influence of liquor whilst on duty at the security duty room area on 2nd November 2014

Staff member: A.M.R.D Ranaweera (18332) – Driver

Empty bottle of liquor found inside the compartment of his vehicle

Detection Case 7

Detection of 14 Bid tools and 01 Bid socket belonging to SriLankan Airlines Engineering Department at operations gate on 15th December 2014

Staff member: M.I.S.Kostha – Aircraft Technician (19641)

Items detected inside his personal carry-on bag

Detection Case 8

Detection of 09 pieces of tools belonging to SriLankan Airlines Engineering Department at operations main gate on 10th January 2015

Staff member: J.A.D.Nilantha (C 10561) – Junior Aircraft Technician

Items detected inside his personal carry-on bag

Detection Case 9

Detection of prohibited items 01 spring knife at operations gate on 29th July 2015

Staff member: K.D.N Anuradha (18193) – Technical Service Engineeer

Item detected inside his personal carry-on bag

Detection Case 10

Detection of 06 bottles of Johnnie Walker Red Label whiskey at the operations hangar main gate on 15th December 2015

Staff member: M.T.M.Asfak (C 11523) – Junior Aircraft Workshop Mechanic

Items found inside his personal vehicle with no proof of purchase.

Detection Case 11

Detection of multiple currencies made at the apron pier main entrance on 20th December 2015

Staff members: A.A.G. Sriyananda (14893) – Senior Load Control Supervisor and B.L.T. Karunaratne (21507) – Senior Load Control Agent

Items detected on their person

Detection Case 12

Detection of multiple currencies at apron pier main entrance on 19th January 2016

Staff member: T.I. Jayasinghe (17759) – Aircraft Dispatcher

Items detected on his possession

Detection Case 13

Detection of US dollars at operations main gate on 15th Feb 2016

Staff member: S.K.M.A Fernando (20443) – Airport Passenger Service Agent

Items detected inside his personal diary carried by him

Detection Case 14

Detection of prohibited item 01 folding knife at P&E check in on 1st October 2016

Staff member: W.D.T.P.K Jayasinghe (11075) – Ramp Serviceman

Item found on his person

Detection Case 15

Detection of multiple foreign currencies at operations gate on 22nd May 2017

Staff member: A.M.K.D.C Fonseka (12549) – Licensed Aircraft Engineer

Items found on his person

Detection Case 16

Detection of multiple foreign currencies at P& E check point 0n 10th January 2018

Staff member: S.D.D Tharanga (9359)

Items found on his person.

Also in Colombo Telegraph’s possession are cases of staff being politically victimized and in some cases ending with termination to those who provided evidence to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry. This is despite assurances being given by the Presidential Inquiry to staff to fearlessly come out and provide statements and evidence. (By Janaka Ranaweera

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 3

    In the above reporting, there is one fact that must receive very serious and IMMEDIATE attention of the Presidential Commission, and that is: “…..in some cases ending with “TERMINATION” (emphasis by me) to those who provided evidence to the Presidential Commission”. Is this “TRUE”? I request this writer Janaka Ranaweera to place that information before the Commission NOW. If “TRUE”; such dastardly action must be nipped in the bud and SACK those responsible and also bring all of them to justice. All of them (those who initiated those terminations) must be charged in a Court of Law for “Disruption, Undue Influence , Sabotage and Contempt of a Presidential Commission and put them behind bars. At the moment our attention must be diverted to the FINDINGS of the Commission on a day to day basis and in my opinion enough or expected coverage has yet to come from the Media. With those FINDINGS elicited from evidence and recorded statements from the “BIG TOPS” need to be widely dished out to the public, who have been crying all these years of the “BIGGEST” loss making Public Corporation. That EVIDENCE must go to all the readers of this page, who DEMANDED that this “White Elephant” must be chased out of the stable. You will now know WHERE and HOW and WHO made it a “What Elephant”. Please report on that at least now. Incidentally, compare the monthly salary of this “HR Expert” Rs. 950,000.00. a month with that of our Auditor General and now the Chairman of the Audit Commission, (Mr. Wijesinghe) receiving Rs. 67,000.00 a month. How much the President of the country gets? Any guess? The Commission has yet to summon this HR Expert and more interesting stories would come to light. Await for that DRAMA.

  • 6

    This is common occurrence among staff members. Many malpractices are taking place and honesty is a rare attribute.

    Most of them come from backgrounds where such temptations cannot be resisted. Quality of recruits have deteriorated over the years.

    There have been many instances where pilots and cabin crew have been detected with smuggled items.

    Reflects general law and order situation in the country. Human Resources department is not keen acting on such findings.

  • 17

    What could you expect from an airline whose top is absolutely corrupt. Political interference adds to the woes.

    • 7

      Quite true. Disgrace.

  • 8

    Swept under the carpet, free for all state wealth , why not , these are jobs to be profitted by even a junior coolie who are connected to so and so.
    No questions can be asked , walk on freely with pilfered goods.
    The seniors too walk on with bigger Loots , and questions are asked.

    Ok!! Who is at fault here for permitting to pilfer and allowed free passage through the exit.
    My mind boggles.
    Come on CT !! Have you got proof of all these pilfering by SL Air Staffers of big and little sprats???
    We know that the Alibaba of SLankan at present doing the ,” walk the talk ” at the CID enquiries, we all know who that manamaalaya oldie , the no one other than the BiL of the State Looter JARAPASSAS .
    Catch them all by the Balls and Shawls included. ( I mean the trolley dollies)

  • 1

    Now since these corruptions have been released to us by the media, authorities should take necessary action against each & also to deal with the officers responsible for shelving these cases with no legal action.

  • 2

    So, This Sri Lankan air line commission report will be another BOND SCAM REPORT after Which Ranil, RAVI THE I CAN NOT REMEMBER LIAR< MALLI"K, KABIR HASSIM ARJU"N all will hapily ever after and Arjun aloesius will be released as soon as the election is over.

  • 0

    The lynching and quartering of the current SriLanka Airlines Head of Human Resources Pradeepa Kekulawala is unfair.
    What has his monthly salary (revealed in a RTI report to be in excess of Rs 950,000) to do with it?
    Suppose his butler says that his morning face-wash his face is with champagne. So what?
    Pradeepa Kekulawala just cannot go on hearsay. The ‘Law and Order’ arm must first establish as to whether the allegations are well founded or not. And then……….
    Wait a minute. Can hear Punchi humming “There is a hole in my bucket dear Asha dear Asha…………”

    • 6

      Did you not read the piece? The issue is not hearsay but why 16 detections supported with reports have not been investigated. Initiating an inquiry is the function of the HR Division which is headed by Kekulawala.

      • 0

        Eagle Eye
        The news item says ~ “The submission of a detailed report titled ‘Detections Report In BIA’ sent to Security Manager Mahesh Perera dated 15th August 2018 for investigation is in Colombo Telegraph’s possession”.
        Does not say, who prepared it and why.

        This led to my pessimism. Please be assured that I am as concerned as you on such matters.

        • 0

          According to a former Security Manager of the airline known to me, when a detection is made, according to company regulations, concerned Security Staff must submit a written report of the incident/detection. This document would be the basis for further investigation, charge sheet and inquiry. CT states it is in possession of a ‘detailed report’ sent to SM Mahesh Perera but author unknown, perhaps to protect his identity for the moment. I suspect this has been done with the objective of drawing the attention of PCoI.

  • 1

    Anyone reading kindly take note of these facts.
    The main article in the begining tries to give the reader an impression that most of these cases relate to drugs and weapons used to intimidate passengers.
    Take not that only 1 out of 16 cases is regarding an incident with related to drugs.
    Only another 1 on a jewelry+currency
    1 on influence of liquor.
    2 of being in possession of liquor (that too by just 6 bottles in each case)
    6 of having weapons. Take note all these were engineering staff. Anyone on the field would know that sometimes as mechanics n engineers use multipurpose tools for convenience. Pls Google “Leatherman” . Also Mechanics nor Engineers have minimal contact with passengers. BTW.. when was the last time you were confronted by an armed aircraft mechanic last time u flew.
    5 on multiple currencies. FYI having 2 currencies like USD n GBP or INR interpreted as multiple. Dear Reader. Sometimes Airline staff have to travel . Y do you think the amounts are not disclosed?

    • 1

      Are you by any chance connected to some of these offenders? How do you suppose disembarking crew had alcohol in their possession not supported by proof of purchase? Pilferage of liquor, food, crockery and cutlery meant for on board service by cabin crew is a global problem and must be dealt with severely when detected. Further, what is an Aircraft Workshop Mechanic doing with 6 bottles of alcohol? Do you thing they are his working tools?

  • 4

    Any reason you have deliberately put Suren Ratwatte’s photo in the header? He is NO LONGER the CEO. He resigned in June. If these were mostly cases discovered during the MR regime, you should have put Kapila Chandrasena’s and Wickremesinghe’s photos with this story. No need to drag a gentleman you treated so harshly from day one due to an agenda and because of envy of overbloated ego of some Sri Lankan Airline pilots who could not be hired by a global airline like the Emirates. Suren Ratwatte and another Royalist were the FIRST to fly the Airbus A-380 for Emirates and a top ranked pilot who was featured in global best seller non-fiction book. Any of your Appuhamys from Medamulane ever had that honour?

    • 2

      Simon very true.
      Another mud slinging campaign against Suren.
      The whole drama has been choreographed by Killi Maharaja.

  • 2

    No wonder Sri Lankan Airlines is in such a mess. From the top to the bottom, it has become a corrupt, inefficient, unreliable airline.

  • 6

    Sad to see people defending Pradeepa Kekulawala.
    There’s more than enough evidence to have him fired from SriLankan and prosecuted. Just read the Weliamuna Commission report.
    I have personally submitted evidence against him – both to the Weliamuna Commission and to this Commission. I have submitted signed letters and e-mails. No hearsay – I have used his own words against him.
    The real question is who is protecting this guy? And why?
    In a culture of Impunity and Zero accountability people like this flourish.
    SriLankan is infested with these kind of people from top to bottom. They are a Cancer.
    Sadly I think the current investigation is just a lot of noise – no action will be taken imho.

    • 1

      Totally agree with you as I also know very well how he mange the HR department. Some points to ponder,
      1. Who is ghe manager in charge of disciplinary management jn HR? She is yasitha, a woman who can handlyou speak a sentence i proper English but has a MBA sponsored by her engineering big shot lover boy.
      Head of HR is numb for this as the engineering fellow is highly politically connected.
      2. People who acted smart in ghe department especially pretty ladies who didnot want to have any personal relationship with hhr were harassed so badly and that valued labour has left the company.
      3, the lady lover dulari is about to be promoted to grade 10 any moment for analysing his personal agendas on a daily basis and (you know what I mean) and Consuming money from the training budgets handle.
      4. Employing and promoting friends daughter hansini overnight from intern to executive and company stylist’so daughter shashya for executive position while she is just 22 years old. Etc, etc.

      The money he has wasted,
      1. Having huge management trainee graduations at five star hotels when there are ample auditoriums in the company so that he can misuse the money and reserve a room at the particular venue for his personal agendas with training analysis madame.
      2. The enormous money he has spent for IATA International gathering in sri lanka in the year 2013
      3. His duty trips overseas with manipulated bills to claim money back from the company. His secretary is well aware of these…

      The list can go on and on…. simply he is a rogue who should be sentenced….

  • 2

    Dear CT:

    Reporting and wasting reader time can’t go any cheaper than this. Technician, driver, trainee, passenger service agent stealing Champaign bottle, Johnie Walker Red, Rambo knife, Folding knife, tipped foreign currency, Bid socket etc.. ha..ha.. you wasted mine as well as others’ precious time reporting these sh1t under a tricky title to it. Shame on CT – These things do happen in any airline, especially in 3rd world countries

  • 0

    The PCoI revelations evoked muted response.
    A statement by a N&E leader or a protest march ignites fiery responses.
    All involved in the SriLankan Airlines feeding frenzy are from one ethnic group.
    Empirically one may conclude that there something ‘inverse’ here.
    This is our problem.

    • 1

      Why bring ethnicity to the issue? If ‘feeding frenzy’ at UL is from one ethnic group, obviously Sinhalese, from which ethnic group are accused nos 1 and 2 in th Bond scam, feeding frenzy at the Central Bank?

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.