By Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana
An attempt to smuggle cigarettes worth more than Rs.1.3 million from Dubai was thwarted when Customs officials at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) arrested an incoming passenger.
The arrest was made when the passenger was on the verge of leaving the airport through the Customs ‘Nothing to Declare’ Green Channel.
Acting Customs Spokesman Superintendent Lal Weerakoon said the passenger had arrived on Emirates Flight EK652 from Dubai on Sunday.
The officials recovered 27,720 sticks of cigarettes of a foreign brand which had been carefully concealed inside a false bottom of his baggage.
The detection was made by Customs Superintendent Senaka Arawpola and Assistant Superintendents H.P.M.J.G. Pathirana, T.D.N.T. Samaranayake, H.U.I. Perera and H.M.C.U. de Silva
Preliminary investigations had revealed that the 42-year-old suspect was engaged in the business of importing goods from Dubai.
Further investigations are being carried out under the direction of Customs Deputy Director E.M.J. Nawaratne.
The suspect was released after the Customs imposed a fine of Rs.40,000. The contraband was forfeited by the suspect.