A stock of illegally imported foreign cigarettes worth Rs. 35 million found hidden in a 40-foot container was destroyed at the Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) destruction yard under the supervision of Customs officials today.
Customs Director General and media spokesman Sunil Jayarathne told media that the container arrived in the country in August, 2019 from Dubai.
The raid was conducted by the Customs Risk Management Unit and the cigarettes have been imported by using a fake name and address without Customs declaration.
Jayarathne said the officials recovered 650,000 sticks of foreign brand (Top Mountain) cigarettes in 3,250 cartons.
The contraband was brought into Sri Lanka as a shipment by vessel (MOGRAL) in a 40-foot container. The vessel arrived from the port of Jebel Ali in UAE on August 7, 2018.
“The contraband was found packed inside the container by using the Less Container Load (LCL) facility. The LCL method is the most cost-effective method to transport your cargo," the spokesman said.
“The container was found when an essential investigation was conducted at the Customs relating to the registered addresses. Following the Customs investigations, the decision was taken to confiscate the goods,” Mr. Jayarathne said.
If the cigarettes went undetected, the loss of tax income to the government would have been Rs. 25 million, the Customs official said. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama) PICTURES