The Preventive Investigative Division of the Customs said that, over a period of one year, nearly 150 ‘garbage’ packed containers had been shipped from the United Kingdom to a well-known company in Colombo. They said the details would be divulged once the investigation is completed.Sri Lanka Customs said they have discovered containers stacked with second hand items, mostly used mattresses and other ‘garbage’ such as plastic items, carpets etc., for ‘re-export’. The shipment was seized on 8 July.The company has imported such stuff on ‘hub operation’ meaning the items will be sorted out and usable items to be ‘re-exported’, claimed the officer who wished to remain anonymous. For such operation license is needed and the Customs is checking with the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) about the ‘garbage’ sent to Sri Lanka and the details therein.
The Customs are also tracing whether used items had been imported to Sri Lanka before. Currently, the containers are placed in many warehouses in Colombo and the officials are conducting further investigations on the shipment.
The containers would be sent back to the UK as per the decision of the CEA the official said.
The Director Customs and Media Spokesman Sunil Jayaratna told Ceylon Today that the matter is still under investigation and they have not yet published anything officially.