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* Sri Lanka Customs nabs illegal scrap copper to be smuggled to Singapore
Fri, Feb 7, 2014, 12:50 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka Customs has seized two containers of scrap copper that was on the way to be smuggled to Singapore.

The preventive staff of Sri Lanka Customs seized the load on January 22 at the Colombo Port.

Two persons have been arrested in relation to the smuggling attempt. They had ben produced in the Colombo Magistrate Court and the judge ordered them to be remanded till February 12.

The Customs media spokesman Lesley Gamini said the two container loads of scrap copper had been attempted to smuggle declaring them as equipment needed for garment factories. The confiscated stock of scrap metal is worth Rs. 22.5 million, he added.

Export of copper comes under heavy scrutiny from Customs Department and exporters need to obtain a special license from the government to legally export copper scrap. The government has imposed 30% Cess Tax to discourage copper scrap exports.

Sri Lanka imports 6.2 billion worth of copper annually for various local industries that need copper as raw material. It is estimated that 70 percent of the country's annual copper requirement can be balanced if Sri Lanka can halt the illegal export of copper.

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