Lankan Customs Department has launched a probe where 33,000 kg of turmeric was
smuggled out of the Colombo Port unnoticed, which was later found by Police at
a warehouse in the Metropolis on September
18th sri lankan media reports quoting a top customs official
from the port comes in the wake of skyrocketing of turmeric prices in the
Colombo market where it is sold at rs 4000 a kilo and the island government's
decision to ban import of turmeric. India used to be a major supplier of
turmeric to Srilanka before the ban came into existence six months ago.
It was not clear as to when the
consignment slipped out of the Port
“It was not
clear as to when the consignment slipped out of the Port and its country of
origin and therefore, towards this end, a committee has been set up to carry
out a thorough investigation,” Customs Spokesman Sunil Jayaratne said.
Negligence or even connivance by errant
officials have not been ruled out
addition, the present scanning machines at the Colombo Port are also on the
blink but negligence or even connivance by errant officials have not been ruled
out, he added.
said four new scanning machines that is part of a Rs 40 billion project have
been completed but could not be operational owing to external issues.
truckers entering the Port had protested over the project claiming that they
would be exposed to dangerous radiation and therefore the operation of the new
scanners had to be put on hold.
turmeric consignment was taken into custody by the Police on September 18th
with three containers and seven trucks from a warehouse in Bloemendhal.
the turmeric had been illegally imported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates,
three days ago by a businessman operating in Mattakuliya.
The find on
18 September is the single largest detection of illegally imported turmeric to
reach the country since the import of the spice was banned by the Government in
March this year as part of a national programme to encourage local farmers to
cultivate the crop.
large stocks of turmeric smuggled into
security agencies have also seized large stocks of turmeric that had been
smuggled into the country by boat from neighbouring India. The price of
turmeric has increased by several-fold since the ban was imposed and the spice
is also scarce in the open market.