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STF hijacks massive cigarette consignment from Customs’ probe: Customs says

17 November 2023 11:55 pm - 14     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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COLOMBO - (Daily Mirror) - Sri Lanka Customs to launch a comprehensive investigation into an incident, where the Police Special Task Force (STF) seized a massive cigarette consignment, which was being transported under the Customs supervision for its own probe on Thursday.

A forty-foot container filled with a massive stock of foreign cigarettes, which had been taken into custody by the Customs 'D' Branch sometime back, had been ordered to be sent to the Customs container inspection yard at the Rank Container Terminal (RCT) in Orugodawatta.

The container had left Colombo Port with the Customs seal on it at 4.59 pm and it could proceed only up to Ingurukade Junction when a team of STF officials had intercepted the container truck and had taken it into custody.

The STF had then opened the truck amidst the Customs seal on it and had taken the container to the Grandpass Police for further inquiries.

The Customs officials, after noticing that the truck had not arrived at the RCT yard within 15 minutes as usual had searched for it. Since they could not locate the truck they had lodged a complaint with the Grandpass Police.

A senior Customs official told the Daily Mirror that he was being informed by the Grandpass Police to come and accept a large cigarette consignment.

Customs Spokesman Director Seevali Arukgoda issuing a statement said the Customs had however reported the entire incident to the Maligakanda Magistrate yesterday morning that their consignment had been forcibly taken into Police STF’s custody even disregarding the provisions of the Customs Ordinance.

Maligakanda Magistrate after considering the facts reported by the Customs had reprimanded the STF and police for disregarding the Section 136 of the Customs Ordinance and not returning the contraband back to Customs in due course.

The Customs said that they were yet to receive the cigarette consignment from Grandpass Police last evening when this edition went to press.

The Customs were also highly concerned as to what were the actual quantities of the smuggled cigarettes inside the container as the STF had hijacked their contraband when it was being transported to be examined.

A senior Customs official said that they will take legal action against this once the probe is over.


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  Comments - 14

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  • Gb Saturday, 18 November 2023 01:28 AM

    Politician brought them in and used stf as their own goons to get rid of evidence

    Jaffna Logic Saturday, 18 November 2023 03:07 AM

    Of course the policemen have stolen the cigarettes, when it is returned no one would know the amount of cigarettes stolen. The point is whether it is STF or the normal Police it doesn’t matter, they are all O/L educated working class boys and girls coming from poor economic family backgrounds. This is why we need a police force which is fully staffed by university graduates from good family background.This British concept of having a profession endowed with “God” like powers but consisting of people who are not even qualified to be in any white collar job is both stupid and comical.

    Mahila Saturday, 18 November 2023 03:20 AM

    Ministry of Internal Security MISSED BEAT!!???

    Ram Saturday, 18 November 2023 04:04 AM

    STF

    ravin Saturday, 18 November 2023 05:59 AM

    Anyone who monitor present-day happenings between bureaucracy and political manipulators may see sinister moves behind this scene.

    senaka Saturday, 18 November 2023 06:02 AM

    someone in top ranks is scared of losing an income source, plays around to create havok, or some people want to get bonus so act fast

    Third Eye Saturday, 18 November 2023 06:15 AM

    If the container was under detention and investigation by customs then it should have been transferred only under the supervision of the customs staff. If no customs staff was present when the STF seized the container then its a racket facilitated by the customs. Let the CID investigate. Truth will be exposed

    DD Saturday, 18 November 2023 07:37 AM

    Well, well, well! Looks like Sri Lanka just had its own version of "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves"! But hold your camels and flying carpets, folks, because this time, it's not just Ali Baba—we've got a whole customs container filled with mysterious cigarettes! Did the STF think they could play the role of genies disappear all cigarettes? Let's apprehend all the culprits and bring them to court!

    Punchi Saturday, 18 November 2023 10:18 AM

    This is an example of our much touted “internal mechanisms” for problem and dispute resolution is applied.

    Sandy Saturday, 18 November 2023 11:21 AM

    Customs searched for the container without knowing it's location. So technically the consignment was not in their custody during the time of seizure

    Chris Saturday, 18 November 2023 12:43 PM

    When such an important cargo is been driven by a lone 65 old driver, without a customs escort, its not seemingly correct for Customs to blame the STF who has also acted on a tip off. Looks like the tip off is also an inside job from the Customs.

    Aquarius Saturday, 18 November 2023 01:09 PM

    Sounds like a Hollywood gangster movie and happening right in front of our eyes! This could not have happened without someone from the government behind it. Too well synchronised, so probably, customs and STF are both involved.

    Navi Saturday, 18 November 2023 08:03 PM

    After STF seize. later, the Customs come forward to lay claims that it was transported under customs Supervision. All too familiar.... The importer party has made a deal with only the customs ??????????????????????

    Sambo Sunday, 19 November 2023 08:03 AM

    Because they cannot trust the customs which is so corrupted.


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