ECONOMYNEXT- Customs will destroy stocks of illegally imported tobacco leaves which are confiscated the Cabinet has decided Co-Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said.
He said the current practice is to sell the confiscated leaves by calling for tenders that brought some additional revenue to the state.
He told reporters today July 9, that there is about 11,370 kg of seized tobacco leaves at the moment in government storage.
“When stored for a long time the quality of the tobacco leaves depreciate, so the method which existed up to now was that Customs sold all the confiscated items through calling tenders according to section 235 of the Custom Ordinances,” Gunawardena said.
However, the method followed by Customs, he said is that selling the confiscated tobacco leaves twice through the call of tenders and then destroy the remaining tobacco leaves in the third instance.
“It is true that the Customs earns revenue through this but during the previous government there had been a big racket involving tobacco leaves just like with drugs, which the President told the Security Council has taken into consideration,” he added.
He said there are complaints about questioning whether the whole amount of confiscated tobacco leaves are destroyed and also allegations of impropriety over the calling of tenders.
So he said the cabinet approved the proposal presented by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to destroy confiscated tobacco leaves without calling tenders to sell them. (Colombo, July 9, 2020)
Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe