A probe has been launched by the Customs to find out how a container laden with 1,257 litres of foreign liquor imported by a private company had been replaced with 1,179 litres of bottled mineral water.
The Customs Preventive directorate has launched an investigation into the incident involving the container imported in 2018 under the special customs scheme, Customs Media Spokesman and Deputy Director Sunil Jayarathne said.
“The Preventive division officers apprehended the container said to contain foreign liquor intended to be re-exported to Bangladesh. The liquor stock had been imported by a private company which owns a bonded warehouse in Seeduwa,” he said.
Under the directive of the Director-General of Customs, the registered owners of the container was informed several times to be present at the customs before opening the container but the relevant party had not turned up for a long time , he said.
The Customs suspects that the foreign liquor was imported on a duty-free basis and had been released to the local market without paying the levies, Mr Jayarathne said.
He said the estimated revenue loss to the government was Rs.40 million.
Seven parties are being questioned in connection with the incident, Mr Jayarathne said. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)