meticulously concealed among iron scaffoldings
By Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana
A massive stock of counterfeit cigarettes worth over Rs.90 million that was smuggled into the country through a consignment of iron scaffolding from China was seized by Sri Lanka Customs last week.
A millionaire businessman who had allegedly imported the scaffoldings and his wharf clerk were nabbed by the Customs at the Gray Line 2 Yard in Grandpass, when they arrived to clear the cargo.
Customs sources said about 1.5 million (1, 513, 600) sticks in 7, 568 cartons of a Chinese brand cigarettes, the sale of which was entirely prohibited in Sri Lanka, had been found meticulously concealed within 344 iron scaffolding pipes.
The seized illicit cigarettes will be destroyed in due course, whilst Customs Deputy Director Jagath Pushpakumara and the team were conducting investigations on the instructions of Customs Chief Maj. Gen (Rtd.) Vijitha Ravipriya.