Two containers with consignments of dried shark fins and stingray gills worth Rs.8.3 million were seized by the officers of the Sri Lanka Customs' Biodiversity Protection Unit, Customs Director General Maj. Gen. Vijitha Ravipriya said.
He said the raid was conducted on February 26 and 27 while being ttansported to the Port Export Facilitation Centre for illegal freighting to Hong Kong and China.
According to the Sri Lanka Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act and the Customs Ordinance, it is illegal to export such products, he said.
These shark fins and stingray gills were scheduled to be exported to Eastern and South Eastern Asian countries including Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan and Singapore to be used as a sex stimulant substance.
Accordingly, it was reported that a bowl of soup with shark fins and stingray gills costs US$100 in the restaurants in the above mentioned countries, the Customs Director General said.
300 kg of shark fins and 250 kg of stingray gills were found in two containers, he said.
Preliminary investigations by Customs disclosed the consignment might have been collected from fishing harbours across the country before being taken for exporting, he said.
Statements were recorded from the Directors of the two Colombo-based export companies, port wharf clerks and several others who were suspected to have involved in the illegal exporting, the Director General added. (T.K.G. Kapila)