By Chaturanga Samarawickrama
The Sri Lanka Customs had seized more than 300 luxury vehicles worth over Rs.200 million which were imported illegally to the country during the COVID-19 pandemic period, Customs Media spokesman and Deputy Director Sunil Jayarathne said. He told Daily Mirror that the most of the luxury vehicles were imported from Japan and several vehicles imported from countries such as the United Kingdom (UK) and Germany.
“Those vehicles had been imported without a valid Letter of Credit (LC), with the ‘Shipped on Board’ and ‘Bill of Lading’ date altered. Most of the LCs of the vehicles were not opened as per the regulations,” he said.
“Certain LCs were issued before the Government imposed regulations while some others were after the regulations were imposed by the state,” he said.
The majority of these vehicles were shipped from Europe, UK and Japan to the Colombo and Hambantota Ports.
“Usually vehicles imported from UK and German by containers to the Colombo Harbour. Vehicles from Japan arrived at the Hambantota Harbour in car carriers,” Mr Jayarathne said.
These vehicles were imported during the pandemic period, he said.