Sri Lanka Customs has seized 1200 tons of brown sugar which was illegally imported from India by a trader in Pettah as white sugar. Steps were taken to confiscate the total stock worth over Rs. 240 million.
Customs officials discovered this stock stored in a private warehouse in Peliyagoda.
The stock of sugar has now been stored under Police protection. This stock of sugar has been brought to Sri Lanka by this importer on several previous occasions. The Customs Superintendent of the Post-Audit Section observed that there is a shortage of brown sugar in the market hence an increase in the retail price.
Custom Superintendent K. Shanmugadasan who carried out the investigation had found that a certain businessman was importing sugar illegally.
Customs officials during the investigation had found this stock of sugar stacked in 45 out of 85 containers imported by this businessman. It has been found that 50 per cent of the 1215 metric tons of sugar imported by him was brown sugar.
State Finance Minister Ranjith Siambalapitiya after inspecting the stock yesterday said that the import of brown sugar has been curtailed as high quality brown sugar is produced locally.
He also said that if there is any such illegal activity taking place, the public can report it to the Central Intelligence Division of the Customs. Telephone No. 0112–471471 and it is in operation round the clock.
“Similarly to the Director General of Customs, information about such activities can be made via Telephone No. 0112-347881. The State Minister said that the Customs will protect the identity of persons providing such information and rewards will be given to those providing accurate information.