The Customs Department has lost revenue amounting to more than Rs. 58 billion due to various frauds and irregularities, and Chairman of the Committee of the Ways and Means, MP Patali Champika Ranawaka has instructed the officials of Ministry of Finance and other institutions to take immediate steps to recover the losses.
It has been revealed that arecanut is imported from Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar for USD 750-900 per tonne, and big profits are made by re-exporting those consigenments as Sri Lankan arecanut to Pakistan and India.
The re-exporters make use of concessions given to Sri Lankan exporters under free trade agreements. The fraudulent re-exporting causes a loss to local exporters. As such, around 100 such containers containing 1,493 tonnes of arecanut were detained by the Customs, the officials told the committee, sources said.
The Director General of Customs has informed the committee that an order was given to collect 100 percent fines for valuable goods such as gold brought into the country illegally. Already more than Rs. 290 million had been collected as fines from ten such people, parliament sources said.