- 99 gold biscuits concealed in a box carrying an electric fan
By Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana
An attempt to smuggle gold biscuits worth more than Rs.100 million into the country by an employee of a duty-free shop at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) with the help of a passenger who arrived from Australia was thwarted by relevant authorities last morning.
On information received, Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) officials at the BIA Arrival Terminal searched the male passenger who arrived from Australia when he was about to leave the airport with several goods purchased from the duty-free shop, police sources said.
The police found 99 gold biscuits concealed in a box carrying an electric fan, which had reportedly been purchased from the duty-free shop. The police also arrested an employee of the duty-free outlet who accompanied the passenger.
The story unfolded when the 46-year-old passenger, a civil engineer by profession, returned to the country from Australia with his mother on SriLankan Airlines Flight UL307 around 11.30 a.m. yesterday.
The couple had visited one of the duty-free shops to purchase a refrigerator and one of the employees who attended to the sale had made a special request to purchase an electric fan on behalf of him. Since those who remain in the country cannot purchase any good from duty-free shops at the airport, the arriving passengers had agreed to take out the electric fan in their trolley.
The staffer had then accompanied the passenger and his mother out of the airport saying the fan would be collected by him once they exited the premises. However, the arriving passengers had the least idea that the package contained gold weighing 10 kilos and 844 grammes packed in the box as found by PNB sleuths.
The male passenger along with the shop employee were taken into custody and later handed over to the Customs at the BIA for further inquiries. The mother of the arrested passenger had been released.
Meanwhile, Customs sources told Daily Mirror a special investigation was underway to determine how the duty-free shop employee received the gold biscuits.
The particular duty-free shop had been ordered to be sealed until the probe is concluded.