Aug 04, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Customs and Geological Survey and Mines Bureau have been able to uncover a large scale racket of smuggling millions of rupees worth gold by sending soil mixed with gold pieces overseas.
The racket has been uncovered after tests conducted on soil samples obtained in June last year from 64 containers that were detained by the Customs, Sinhala daily Lankadeepa reported.
A former Customs officer has taken steps to impose a Rs. 5 million fine on the containers with gold mixed soil on charges of illegally sending gold out of the country and prohibit the exportation of the containers.
After the incident, another 15 containers of the same gold-mixed soil have been detained by the Customs following the revelation of the racket.
A businessman who is said to be a relative of a powerful Tamil Nadu politician has come to the country and attempted to take the 15 containers away.
Meanwhile, it has been revealed that the measures have been taken to transfer the Deputy Director of Customs, who was responsible for revealing the racket.
However, the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau has learned that the Customs with the powers vested in the agency by the Customs Ordinance is taking steps to release the 15 containers with gold mixed soil.
The top officials of the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau has taken quick measures to inform the Secretary to the Ministry of Environment and Mahaweli Development.
The relevant offices and the Presidential Secretariat have been informed on the matter and steps have been take to stop the shipment of all 64 containers.
Further investigations are being carried out.