Officers attached to the Customs Central Investigation Bureau today seized a container with 15,200 litres of Ethanol worth Rs.20 million, Customs Director General Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) Vijitha Ravipriya said.
He said the container was brought to the Colombo Port by declaring to Customs as Industrial Chemical.
The container reached the country on August 9 last year from Singapore. The consignment arrived under the name of a company owned by a businessman who did not engage in business since 2016.
"The customs officials sent letters to the company that imported the cargo, informing them to take steps to clear the container from port. But no one responded.
Subsequently the customs officers decided to open and inspect the container," the DG said.
"After opening the container, the officers found 76 barrels of Ethanol each contains 200 litres. The Container was declared as it contains 12,220 kg of Industrial Chemical," Mr Ravipriya said.
If this consignment was removed from the port and utilized to distill alcholic liquor, the total revenue as tax due to the government and non-declaration of excise duty would have been Rs. 60 million, he said
The import of ethanol to Sri Lanka has been prohibited under the Import and Export Control Act as a public policy as well as under the Excise Act, he said. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama and T.K.G. Kapila)