Sri Lanka Customs has accused a senior official of the country’s premier investment agency, the Board of Investment of interfering in the ongoing inquiry into a major smuggling operation.
Authoritative sources said that racketeers had been able to manipulate the import process due to negligence on the part of the BOI.
Sources alleged that large consignments of cosmetics, perfumes and shoes had been imported in the guise of equipment needed for a BOI approved poultry farm at Essella, in the Veyangoda police area and a tractor-trailer manufacturing plant.
Sources said that the four persons, including a director of the company under investigation, had been arrested in connection with the racket, though the mastermind was still in Dubai.
Sources said that initial investigations had revealed that there had been 23 such shipment received prior to yesterday’s Customs detection.
The Dubai-based mastermind had used two container carriers belonging to him to move the illegal cargo. Although the road leading to the poultry farm at Essella couldn’t accommodate container carriers, it had received BoI status for want of official scrutiny.