Customs nab young couple with Rs.88M in local, foreign currency at BIA

22 September 2017 12:35 am - 35     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


A young couple bound for Dubai, who tried to smuggle out local and foreign currency amounting to Rs.88 million, making it the largest ever detection of local currency, were stopped by officials of the Customs Narcotics Control Unit at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) last night.

The couple was searched by the officials on suspicion when they tried to leave the airport through the 'Silk Route' private lounge with their baggage, Customs Spokesman Deputy Director Sunil Jayaratne said.

A 24-year-old man and his lady partner aged 22 were to leave for Dubai on Srilankan Airlines flight UL225, which was scheduled to depart at 6.25pm yesterday.

The couple who claimed to be business people had told Customs officials that they were from Dematagoda.

Customs Deputy Director at the BIA Parakrama Basnayake told the Daily Mirror that they had stopped the couple when they were waiting at the paid private lounge 'Silk Route'.

He said the couple was suspected to have used the services of the private lounge which is similar to that of a VIP lounge to attract less suspicion to their actions by the airport authorities.

The currency included a large amount of wads of Rs.1, 000 notes amounting to Rs.44 million, US Dollars 45,000, Euros 35,000, Omani Riyals 4,000, Bahrain Dinar 2,685, Saudi Riyals 599,500 and UAE Dirhams 72, 000.

Mr. Basnayake said the Customs authorities at the BIA had thwarted 17 attempts to smuggle out Rs.320 million worth of currency this year to date and this detection including Sri Lankan Rupees amounting to 44 million is considered to be the biggest stash of local currency ever detected while attempting to smuggle it out of the country in Customs history.

The currency was found neatly packed in black polythene bags in the check-in baggage of the suspects.

Customs suspects that the young couple might have been used as pawns by a third party to courier the currencies from Sri Lanka to Dubai.

The detection was made by Assistant Superintendents Nuwan Abeynayake, Rasika Samanjith and Srilal Ananda. Investigations are underway under the direction of Superintendent Nissanka Rathnayake on the instructions of Director Parakrama Basnayake and Deputy Directors Darshana Silva and Hapugaskumbura. (Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana)

  Comments - 35

  • mike Friday, 22 September 2017 04:46 AM

    Should investigate may be a pawn for a politician

    ALIF Friday, 22 September 2017 07:03 AM

    Good job. Sri Lankan Customs are very smart - Its a good lesson for smuggling cash out of the country. Its good if this confiscated cash will be distributed among the very poor needy Sri Lankans

    Ijaz Friday, 22 September 2017 08:50 AM

    Where does the money goes now?

    S.T.M. Jabeer (Attorney-at-Law) Friday, 22 September 2017 11:39 AM

    To the treasury, but a part of it should be distributed to the Custom Officers as cash rewards.

    jaliya Friday, 22 September 2017 08:54 AM

    O.K now find out the finer details of the robbery. Who's send them there ? and where did the money come from. I can give some suggestions !!While we are at it ....... search all the custom officers involved ......... look inside of the underwear just making sure that you don't take the stolen money home and trying to buy a ticket to Dubai.

    Kiris Baba Amaray Friday, 22 September 2017 08:59 AM

    Good job by our customs, they should be rewarded.

    kamal Friday, 22 September 2017 09:42 AM

    Custom officials are always get rewards from government as well as importers too.

    Dennis Reeves Friday, 22 September 2017 11:30 AM

    Don't insult the customs officers, you should be a Mahinda sucker Kamal.

    Banis Mama Friday, 22 September 2017 11:33 AM

    Hay Kamal Mahinda's blood is running through your body. Now with the Yahapalanaya Govt. all the public servants works hard with honesty, unlike Mahinda's period.

    Lal Perera Friday, 22 September 2017 07:55 PM

    Now I learnt that all the Govt. servants are working well adhering to the Law. Only MR spoilt them and disturbed them.

    Jal Perera Friday, 22 September 2017 09:01 AM

    Don't know whether this money is the Hat collection organized by Mahinda through Buddhist monks, now been transferred to Dubai to be credited to his and his family members account.

    Kosala Wijenayake (Lawyer) Friday, 22 September 2017 11:35 AM

    Exactly, you got it right.... this couple works for Mahinda as Agents to transfer his money to foreign banks. (true news for DM)

    S. Abeykoon Friday, 22 September 2017 11:48 AM

    Yes, this is a part of Hat collection made recently by monks.

    L.P. Mendis Friday, 22 September 2017 09:03 AM

    Brave custom officers.... we need such legends in all the Public sector.

    Prof. R.M. Wickremasinghe Friday, 22 September 2017 11:37 AM

    These custom officers should get special medals from our Excellency President.

    James Victor Moses Friday, 22 September 2017 09:05 AM

    This couple should be MR's close associates whom were smuggling his money to Dubai and other countries. IGP over to you for a deep investigation.

    Raymond Silva Friday, 22 September 2017 11:41 AM

    Yes, I too heard that they are our former President's agents smuggles his money to other countries and they were looked after well in five star hotels on the account of Mahinda.

    D.K. Dharmadasa (Lawyer) Friday, 22 September 2017 09:08 AM

    I got it from a reliable source that this money is belongs to Rajapakshe family transferred to be deposited to Namal's account in Dubai.

    JIM Friday, 22 September 2017 09:49 AM

    Thats brilliant coming form a lawyer as we the layman, were unaware that LKR was accepted as deposits inDubai.

    D.K. Dharmadasa (Lawyer) Friday, 22 September 2017 11:44 AM

    Hay Jim, that money was offered by MR for their expenses in SriLanka, don't talk like a lunatic.

    Keerthi Amarasinghe (Lawyer) Friday, 22 September 2017 11:47 AM

    Jim boy, they would have planned to ex-change in the Air-port bank into USD. why not?

    Dudley Basanayake Friday, 22 September 2017 09:09 AM

    Well done - our brave custom officers....

    R.T. K. Aponso Friday, 22 September 2017 09:11 AM

    This couple are the Agents of Mahinda Rajapakshe. DM pls. fwd. this to the CID.

    Kottawa Ariyatissa Thero Friday, 22 September 2017 09:13 AM

    I will give a clue.... this is the money collected by the monks recently, means MR's looted money from public again.

    SENA Friday, 22 September 2017 10:24 AM

    Good job. Can someone tell me why the smuggle Sri Lankan currency abroad ?.

    vini Friday, 22 September 2017 11:10 AM

    Because it is the most sought after currency in the world.

    vini Friday, 22 September 2017 11:09 AM

    "A 24-year-old man and his lady partner aged 22 ..."Why do you patronise crooks? The reporter should have written"A 24-year-old smuggler and his woman partner aged 22 ...."

    janaka Friday, 22 September 2017 11:30 AM

    Need a very good investigation and name the culprits name so all know them. All these are looted money this can be distributed for poor people who are suffering from Flood and for medical expenses due to GMOA strick.

    ceylon Friday, 22 September 2017 01:37 PM

    un nesasary currency restrictions create currency smugling.why restrict money flow . via DM Android App

    Bala Friday, 22 September 2017 02:21 PM

    Anyone can take up to $10000 for his expenses. Amounts higher are for trading in which case it should go through a Bank. This is the rule for all currency transactions worldwide in USA EU Australia etc Passengers taking more is smuggling..

    Nostradamus Friday, 22 September 2017 02:07 PM

    Something is very fishy. All the handluggage is checked before passengers can proceed to the transit lounges. Why the officers didnt detect all these salli-bundles There must be complices. via DM Android App

    Hon. Marthelis Friday, 22 September 2017 02:43 PM

    This is stupid. USA survives exporting US dollars. There is a hundred times more US dollars in circulation outside USA than inside. We should encourage export of Sri Lankan rupees.

    Rajiatha Friday, 22 September 2017 06:35 PM

    This must be from Perpetual Treasuries Limited, Aloysius is planning to do a runner...

    TONY Friday, 22 September 2017 08:26 PM


    Chitra Abeyawickrama Saturday, 23 September 2017 06:07 PM

    Very good service. Credit to the customs' officials!

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