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Two NHDA debt collectors arrested over Rs.7.8 Mn embezzlement

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Two external debt collection officers of the Hambantota District Office of the Housing Development Authority who misused housing loans for personal matters have been taken into Police custody.

Meanwhile, an NHDA official said that investigations have also been initiated against another three external debt collection officers working in the Kurunegala, Galle and Kandy district offices and a permanent employee of the Puttalam district office who have been accused of defrauding the housing loan.

Four other permanent employees of the Kalutara District Office, who have been accused of defrauding housing loans, have already been interdicted.

He said that further investigations are being conducted by the Special Crime Investigation Unit of the Kalutara Police regarding these four officials.

According to the Police, the amount that these employees have embezzled is more than Rs.7.8 million. However, this amount may increase further depending on future investigations.

Urban Development and Housing Minister Prasanna Ranatunga has instructed the NHDA to investigate this matter at the district level and submit a report to him immediately.

In the past, home loan recovery activities were very much hampered. Therefore, Minister Ranatunga instructed the NHDA to prepare a formal programme to speed up the recovery of housing loans. Accordingly, District Managers were called to the Ministry in August last year and were given a target of recovering Rs.300 million per month.

Meanwhile, an internal audit has commenced of all the institutions under the Ministry.

The Minister also said that legal action will be taken against all the culprits revealed by the investigation.

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