With the installation of three high-tech scanners at the Colombo Port of Colombo on March 1 the Sri Lanka Customs (SLC) would be able to detect drugs, narcotics, cigarettes, gold and other contraband smuggled in containers, Director General P.S.M. Charles said.
"A thorough screening and scanning system of all containers arriving at the Colombo Port will be launched with the commissioning of the latest scanners under the SLC modernization project. The scanners have been imported from Britain," she said.
“Right now we don’t have the facilities to scan a container for any contraband. With the installation of these three high technology scanners we will be in a position to scan a container thoroughly, item by item within the container,” Ms. Charles told Daily Mirror."Currently we have to unload the entire container to detect any illegal or suspicious item. This is cumbersome, time wasting and costly and not 100% successful.”
She said between 1,150 and 1,450 containers arrived in the Colombo Port daily with import items and another 350 to 450 containers with goods for re-export.
President Maithripala Sirisena expressed his disappointment recently at a function at Sugathadasa Stadium that he was shocked to learn that the SLC did not have hi-tech facilities to detect drugs and narcotics brought to Sri Lanka.
The Cabinet approval was granted last Tuesday for the modernization of the SLC. (Sandun A Jayasekera)