The Special Task Force (STF) seized two massive consignments of cigarettes worth more than Rs75 million which had been smuggled into the country by the people connected with the underworld.
The biggest catch was made on Saturday in a hideout at Heenkenda area in Ragama in the Western Province, where during a raid following a tip off the STF team seized 13,145 cartons (200 cigarettes per carton) of Gold Seal cigarettes valued at Rs65,625,000 for which Customs duty had not been paid, the ‘Dinamina’ newspaper reported.
Another secret hideout at Bandaranaike Mawatha in Colombo 12 was also raided by the STF on information elicited from the two arrested men, where contraband cigarettes were stored.
2,000 cartons of Gold Seal cigarettes valued at Rs10 million were recovered by the police commandos and two more suspects who were getting ready to transport the consignments to another location were taken into custody.
On the instructions of STF Commandant DIG RWM C Ranawana, a team of STF personnel led by Inspector Nadeeka Silva conducted the raids under the supervision of SP Varuna Jayasundara.
The total value of the cigarettes taken into custody was Rs75,625,000 and the government has lost revenue to the tune of Rs6,058,000.
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