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Customs bust major vehicle import racket at Colombo port

15 February 2021 08:08 am - 8     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka Customs busted a major vehicle smuggling racket, which had been carried out for years and seized four containers bearing nine vehicles worth over Rs.200 million that were imported declared as spare parts.

Officials of the Customs Preventive Division on information commenced investigations on four suspicious containers,which had arrived at the China International Container Terminal (CICT) in the Colombo Port in February 2019.

Although, the consignments had been declared as vehicle auto spare parts, the importer of the goods had not come forward to claim them for the past two years, giving further suspicions to the Customs officials.

Sources at the Customs Preventive told the Daily Mirror that they had reported the case to the Customs chief and had filed a case in the courts before getting an order to open the four forty foot containers on February 9 this year.

The sleuths found nine whole vehicles inside the containers and another vehicle suspected to be a Land Cruiser Prado, which was in the corner of the fourth container, which had been filled with vehicle spare parts.

The first three containers contained three Toyota KDH vans and six Toyota Noah vans.

According to the import law it is illegal to import vehicles used for many years and even a big tax would be imposed if it was declared as whole vehicle.

To evade a great tax the importer had declared the whole vehicles as spare parts and carried out the business for a long time.

The Customs sleuths have identified the importer to be a vehicle assembling plant owner in Minuwangoda Industrial Zone.

Director Customs Preventive Priyantha Senanayake is conducting the investigations on the instructions of Customs Director General Vijitha Ravipriya. (KURULU KOOJANA KARIYAKARAWANA)

  Comments - 8

  • Vedamanickam Thomaspulley Monday, 15 February 2021 08:20 AM

    Why these people were keeping those containers unopened for two years ?

    K.L Pathirana Monday, 15 February 2021 08:25 AM

    Something is not adding up. If the individual is accustomed to shady operation for years, how is the owner of the vehicle will register these imports ? Is it possible the vehicles are disassembled to get spare parts for older vehicles ? Why is custom office let this operation to continue for years before it was caught ? EVERYONE IN ON THE PAYROLL OF A ILLICIT TRADER !!

    Kumaran Wattala Monday, 15 February 2021 11:49 AM

    Four containers unattended for two years in the yard is unbelievable. Could not the customs find the importer very much earlier.

    Panduka Senanayake Monday, 15 February 2021 02:41 PM

    This type of activitu has been an open secret for much more than two years. What is it that the customs are trying to hide?

    Srilankan Monday, 15 February 2021 02:56 PM

    Negotiation took place for last 2 years between the parties and failed eventually.

    roobarbie Monday, 15 February 2021 03:24 PM

    Obviously customs officer insiders have been collaborating with the crooked importer businessman, most likely connected to a corrupt politikko.

    Ramesh Tuesday, 16 February 2021 12:05 AM

    Pretty sure a politician is behind this .

    San Tuesday, 16 February 2021 02:32 AM

    We need to keep these politicos safe . That’s why they are getting the vaccine first. 6.9 million idiots


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