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Biggest ever contraband 'cells' detection at BIA

KATUNAYAKE: A 26-year-old Sri Lankan, on his return from Singapore was nabbed with the largest haul of cellular phone contraband by Customs Revenue Task Force (RTF) officers at the Bandaranaike International Airport, on Saturday night.

The man suspected to be just a 'carrier' used by a ringleader to smuggle in the contraband, had nearly Rs. 15 million worth cellular phones, accessories and a number of new age electronic devices; camcorders, car DVD players, data travellers and TVs.

The number of cellular phones was 1,100, the biggest ever detection of the sort by the Sri Lanka Customs.

"The suspect had travelled 32 times to Singapore and back since February," the investigation officers said indicating that he could have shuttled through millions of rupees worth of goods to the country during this time without paying a cent to the State.

"We had our eyes fixed on him for a long time. " However, the officer said, as soon as the Customs officers close in on him he quietly palms off the goods to another, sometimes a transit Indian bound traveller.

"So this time we waited patiently till he reached the very end of the Customs desk to get hold of him."

The suspect was released after collecting a Rs.250,000 fine and the contraband was confiscated.

The detection was made by RTF Assistant Director Malie Piyasena and Superintendent H.M.S. Premaratne and Assistant Superintendents Duminda Weerakkody, Nissanka Ratnayake, Tharaka Mahaulpotha and T. Senatilleke were involved in the investigations.

 

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