A Sri Lankan youth who attempted to smuggle illicit cigarettes worth over Rs.1.6 million into the country from Dubai was arrested by the Customs at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) yesterday.
The Customs officials at the BIA arrival terminal seized the contraband after searching the youth on suspicion when he was leaving the airport through the ‘Nothing to Declare’ Customs Green Channel.
Acting Customs Spokesman and Deputy Director Vipula Minuwanpitiya told Daily Mirror the suspect had arrived on FlyDubai Flight FZ 557 around 12.50 am on Friday from the Dubai International Airport.
The sleuths had found 150 cartons of a Dubai brand of cigarettes the sale of which is entirely prohibited in Sri Lanka. The cartons contained 30,000 sticks which was valued at Rs.1,650,000.
The contraband was found neatly concealed under a false bottom of his two travelling bags.
Customs Superintendents A.A.D.C. Shanthapriya, Eric Perera and Bandula Gajanayake carried out the detection on the instructions of BIA Customs Director M.A. Karunaratne and Deputy Director K.H.P. Kumarasiri.
The Customs Inquiry was conducted by Deputy Director Amitha Dodanwela. The suspect who is a resident of Kuliyapitiya was fined Rs.100,000.
The seized cigarettes were forfeited by the Customs. (Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana)