Sri Lanka Customs has intensified its surveillance on increasing foreign currency smuggling amidst the countries worsening forex crisis, Customs Spokesman, Deputy Director Sudaththa Silva revealed.
Custom authorities are cracking down on individuals involved in currency smuggling and similar schemes; he said adding that this forex racket has become menace during the past few months.
At least 14 persons including some businessmen have been apprehended by the Narcotics Division of the Sri Lanka Customs during the past few months and legal action will be taken against them.
They have made a valiant attempt to smuggle out US dollars and other foreign currency to the value of Rs 80 million to Dubai in past 18 days mainly to bring down gold in an organised racket , he disclosed.
Two persons were arrested on Tuesday 02 of this month at the Katunayake Bandaranaike International Airport for attempting to smuggle foreign currency worth over Rs. 11 million he disclosed.
The Customs officers arrested the two were arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport this morning while leaving for Dubai and seized 46,000 Euros million from their possession.
Sri Lanka is currently facing one of the worst economic crises triggered by a severe foreign exchange shortage, he disclosed.
Five Sri Lankans were arrested on Saturday (29) last month by the Narcotics Division for trying to smuggle foreign currency consisted ofUS$ 95,000, 18,000 Euros and 37,000 Saudi Riyals out of the country to Dubai.
In another incident on January 20 2022, Customs arrested five more suspects for the attempted smuggling of foreign currency worth Rs 42 million rupees to Dubai, UAE.
The currency consisted of $ 22,300, 63,500 Euros, 292,000 Saudi Riyals, 8,725 Sterling Pounds and 75,000 UAE Dirhams hidden inside luggage.
Sri Lanka Customs on December (24) 2021 seized foreign currency, including US Dollars, Euros and Sterling Pounds, worth over Rs. 65 million from seven individuals at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).
A businessman had been taken to custody on November 23 when he attempted to smuggle foreign currency valued at over Rs. 14 Million to Dubai, from the Katunayake Airport.
Rs. 10 Million in Sri Lankan Currency and $25,000 was recovered from the hand luggage of the suspect.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has informed the Colombo Chief Magistrates Court that they have commenced investigations against two businessmen for their alleged involvement in smuggling out$ 1.2 million worth Rs.300 million under the guise of importing ready made garments and some other items via China, Hong Kong and Dubai by submitting invoices of foreign companies to local banks.
But investigations revealed that the goods ordered by them had not been arrived in the country.