Illegal cigarettes raise revenue for government
Revenue losses to the government due to smuggled cigarettes has been curtailed to a greater extent due to the vigilance and effective detections made by Customs, the Ceylon Tobacco Co said this week.
It said there has been a steady decline in the presence of smuggled and counterfeit cigarettes, mainly “Gold Seal”.
Customs officials were quoted as saying that a more concerted effort has been made to apprehend those involved in such operations, working closely with other law enforcement authorities such as Excise and Police departments.
“Gold Seal” – the illegal cigarette that entered the local market in 2003 has now reportedly declined to a large extent.
Customs reports reveal that the product was smuggled in large quantities from Vietnam and counterfeits of the same products from China re-routed to Sri Lanka through Dubai, the statement said.
For the first six months to June 2007, over 281 raids have been carried out by authorities in which seven million cigarettes were confiscated and fines imposed amounting to approximately Rs 6.6 million.