130 garbage containers released to Hayleys Free Zone: Customs

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A total of 130 out of 241 garbage containers imported from the UK had been released by Customs to the Hayleys Free Zone company and were found in the Hayleys storage premises in the Katunayake Export Processing Zone 4, Customs officials said yesterday.

Speaking to the media, Customs Director-General Sunil Jayaratne said the remaining 111 garbage containers were still at the Colombo Port.

“Only the 130 containers which were found at the Hayleys Free Zone premises were cleared from the port,” he said.

Customs investigations further revealed that two more BOI-registered companies had been involved in the garbage import.

Mr Jayaratne said a company named ETL Colombo had been contracted to import the containers and another named Ceylon Metal Processing Corporation was also involved in the transaction.

He said 130 containers had been taken to a processing zone inside the Katunayake Free Trade Zone (FTZ) and 10 containers had been re-exported.

Customs Director Lal Weerakkody told the media that after concluding their investigations they would inform all parties to appear before an inquiry.

He added that import documents show that Hayley’s Free Zone was also registered under the BOI. Mr Weerakkody said since the other parties showed no intention of removing the remaining containers, that they were being held at the Colombo Port.

He noted that the bill of landing identifies the shipment consignee as ETL Colombo Pvt. Ltd. and Ceylon Metal Processing Corporation Pvt. Ltd.

A communique issued by the BOI said Hayleys Free Zone had imported 130 containers of used mattresses and carpets for re-export from the UK in October 2017.