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Customs bust beedi racket



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by Madura Ranwala


Customs Preventive officers yesterday seized a huge consignment of beedi tobacco worth Rs. 3.5 million hidden inside two 40-foot containers.


 Preventive Division Deputy Director Parakrama Basnayake told The Island that the consignment had been imported by a businessman living at Kalagedihena and the stock had arrived from Chennai, India on Dec. 15.


The businessman who paid only Rs. 600,000 in levies to the Customs declaring them as beedi wrappers, had deprived the government a duty of close to Rs. 10 million, the official said.


The suspect was being questioned at the time of going to press and he would be fined about Rs. 10 million before being released, he said.


 Customs had detected 200 bags of beedi tobacco in the two containers, the director said.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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