Customs officers seized an illegally imported consignment of cigarettes worth Rs.28 million today, Customs Spokesman and Deputy Director (Legal) Sudatta Silva said.
He said the cigarettes were declared to the customs as machinery and machinery equipment which was illegally imported from China.
The illegal cargo loaded in a 40-foot container, was seized by customs officers assigned to the Customs' Central Investigation Bureau (CIB).
During the customs investigations, 276,000 Chinese-made cigarette sticks were discovered packed into 60 cartons.
The consignee of this this 40ft container had the name of a person living in Gelioya in Kandy district. The suspect had returned the container to customs, which contained 1,450 pieces of machinery and equipments.
Somehow, if the suspect had managed to smuggle the container into the country, the tax revenue loss to Sri Lanka would be in the range of Rs. 25 million.
The customs investigations revealed that several people, other than the importer were involved in the illegal racket and all those involved will be arrested. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama and T.K.G Kapila)
Pix by Pradeep Pathirana