More than Rs. 500 million worth banned intoxicant ‘pan parag’, imported from India through Dubai has been nabbed by the Sri Lankan Customs a short while ago.
A spokesman for the Customs said that the stock had arrived in at least eight containers, which were now kept at the Customs yard at Peliyagoda. “We are going to open containers shortly,” the spokesman said.
Customs Director General Neville Gunawardana said the importation of this product was restricted by the Health Ministry and approval not granted for its import. The use of this product develops addiction and school children are also said to have got addicted to this product. The usage of Paan Masala leads to oral malignant disorders such as cancer, he added.
Dr. Gunawardana said this was the first time that this particular commodity in a large quantity has been intercepted in Sri Lanka. This smuggling through the port has begun due to the stringent measures at the Airport to curb passengers arriving from India carrying similar items.
The suspects have not been identified yet as the consignment had arrived to a fake address. The stock is to be confiscated.(Ajith Siriwardana) (Pix by Pradeep Pathirana)