Customs say deputy minister tried to get seized copper rods released
Posted on April 29th, 2015

Sri Lanka News

Customs officials have thwarted an attempt by a deputy minister to secure the release of an impounded container of copper rods from Dubai on a duty free basis, a top Customs officer said.

He said Deputy Justice Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe visited the Customs to secure the release of the container of copper rods worth millions of rupees.

Mr. Senasinghe when contacted by the Sunday Times said he did not intervene to get the container released.

The copper rods were imported by a local company under the Temporary Import for Export Processing (TIEP) scheme. Items imported under this scheme with duty-free concessions cannot be sold in Sri Lanka.

The company involved in the alleged racket together with a subsidiary had been importing 8mm copper wire rods from Dubai under TIEP scheme and re-export them to India after turning them into 6mm and 3mm copper rods.

The Customs officer said their investigations had, however, found the importer had sold 18 containers of copper wire rods imported under this scheme to a local power cable manufacturer. As a result, the State has lost Rs. 100 million in taxes.

The Customs investigations found that the two companies had acted in violation of the Customs Ordinance and the TIEP scheme conditions for duty free concessions.

Last year the companies filed a case in the Court of Appeal seeking the release of the container after the Customs Preventive Division impounded it. Deputy Minister Senasinghe appeared for the companies in the Court of Appeal case.

The senior customs officer said the Deputy Minister visited the Customs Preventive Division this week and requested the release of the containers, but officials had rejected his request.

3 Responses to “Customs say deputy minister tried to get seized copper rods released”

  1. Kumari Says:

    Hats off to Customs officials. It appears that government officers are not corrupt like the politicians.

  2. Samanthi Says:

    It is strange if these uncorrupted custom officers were either dismissed or transferred to difficult areas soon.
    This whole episode reminds me that how the then UNF govt led by Ranil W helped to release poweful communication equipments donated to LieTTE by Norway in around year 2002.

  3. Nimal Says:

    Glad that the customs have done their job.

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