Customs seize illegal cigarettes worth Rs. 9.5 billion | Daily News

Customs seize illegal cigarettes worth Rs. 9.5 billion

Customs Director General  Major General (Retired)  G. V. Ravipriya, and Senior Customs Officials inspecting the consignment.
Customs Director General Major General (Retired) G. V. Ravipriya, and Senior Customs Officials inspecting the consignment.

The Sri Lanka Customs yesterday seized a large consignment of illegal cigarettes worth Rs 9.5 billion, Customs Deputy Director Legal Affairs and Media Spokesman Sudattha Silva said.

He said that the consignment was seized by the officials attached to the Customs Compliance and Facilitation Division while inspecting 21 containers at the Colombo Port.

They were ready to be re-exported to a number of European countries including the Netherlands and Germany as Sri Lankan spices and Black tea.

These containers were brought from the United Arab Emirates to be re-exported to a number of European destinations through a popular tea exporting company in Sri Lanka, Silva said. He added that there might be over 200 million fags in containers, and these racketeers might have sold a portion of this stock to retailers in the local market, too.

He said that 12 containers, which were brought to Sri Lanka earlier were also re-exported to a number of European destinations and Bangladesh, too.

The Customs suspect that these illegal imports might have been linked with internationally organised racketeers, the Spokesman added.