Around 30,000 small vials containing tobacco powder (snuff) and over 2,000 beedi leaves, illegally imported to the country, have been seized by customs officers.
Sri Lanka Customs spokesman Dharmasena Kahandawa stated that the detection was made upon inspecting 61 packages which had arrived from the Chennai Harbour in India.
He stated that the tobacco powder and beedi leaves were declared as fabrics to the customs and imported to Sri Lanka by a businessman from Pettah. The estimated value of the imported items is estimated at around Rs 8 million.
He stated that the import of tobacco powder to the country is prohibited under the law as it has been identified as a gateway drug especially for the youth while a significant sum is charged as excise tax when importing beedi leaves.
The spokesman stated that the suspect is currently being interrogated by customs officers and that the goods have been confiscated.