Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena has not been able to take any action against Parliamentarian Ali Sabri Raheem, who was caught red-handed smuggling gold and mobile phones into Sri Lanka via the VIP lounge at the Bandaranaike International Airport.
It is clear that the parliamentarian had used his parliamentary privilege to use the VIP lounge.
Customs Director General P.B.S.C. Nonis has informed Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena of this.
Ali Sabri Raheem is a 60-year-old member of the All Ceylon Makkal (People’s) Congress, led by Rishad Bathiuddin, who has also remained silent on the matter.
Raheem had 3 kilos of gold in his hand luggage and 91 high-end new mobile phones bearing the brand names Samsung, Xiaomi, and Redmi. He was fined Rs 7.4 million, which he paid on the same day.
The opposition parties have called for strict action against Raheem, saying that he has violated the Parliament-approved Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament by using his parliamentary privileges and diplomatic passport to smuggle the goods.