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Smuggling out foreign currency the latest fad

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Yearly detection at BIA worth Rs.70m so far

Undeclared foreign currency amounting to nearly Rs.70 million has been seized by Sri Lanka Customs at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) since the beginning of this year, leading officials to suspect that smuggling foreign currency has become the latest trend for smugglers.

Customs Media Spokesman/Director (Legal) Leslie Gamini said four people have been arrested at BIA by Customs officials during the past 2½ months while trying to smuggle foreign currency out of the country. This included one individual who was arrested on February 12 with foreign currency amounting to Rs.48 million concealed in his traveling bag.

The latest to be arrested was a 41-year-old resident of Panadura who was arrested at the airport’s Departure Lounge early yesterday morning while trying to smuggle out foreign currency amounting to Rs.8.3 million.  The Customs Media Spokesman said smugglers seem to be turning to smuggling foreign currency over gold judging by the frequency of the recent attempts.

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