The Customs today said that the man who was arrested with Rs.81 million worth foreign currency at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) on Wednesday is suspected to have been transporting money on behalf of a wider network of foreign exchange centres that engage in illegal money transfers.
A senior customs officer said that foreigners and locals who want to avoid banks to transfer money hand over money to these centres. “These centres collect the money and charge a commission and the money is delivered by these men,” he said.
“We imposed a fine of Rs.2.5 million and he was released. He confessed that he was asked to come to a place close to the Katunayake Railway Gate where he was given the bag with the money,” he said.
The detection made by the Customs on Wednesday morning was the biggest detection in the history of the (BIA) when a Sri Lankan was arrested having foreign currency worth Rs.81.76 million which he attempted to smuggle to Singapore.
The Customs said the foreign currency included US Dollars, Sterling Pounds, Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Kuwaiti Dinars, UAE Dirhams, Saudi Riyals, Swiss Francs and Euros.
The 52-year-old resident of Hambantota was on his way to board a flight bound to Singapore and the money was found in his checked in luggage. (Supun Dias)