The Chinese Embassy in Colombo has launched investigations into complaints made by a group of local businessmen who imported calcium carbide used for welding purposes from a Chinese company, but found only rock stones and sand in their consignments after they arrived at the Colombo port.
A spokesperson of the embassy told the Sunday Times they had received a complaint from the importers who had placed the order with a particular company in China. “We will not only investigate the matter, but also try to help them recover the loss they suffered”, the spokesperson said.
Five leading hardware merchants in Colombo had placed separate orders amounting to Rs. 10 million. The consignment had arrived in five separate containers with the last two of them being opened on Friday.
The last two containers were opened in the presence of Deputy Director of Customs G.N. Hettiarachchi.
He told the Sunday Times the consignment which arrived in barrels was opened and in all of them they had found pieces of rock stones and sand.
“We have taken samples and confirmed that they were not carbide as described in the Bill of Lading” e said.
The President of the Ceylon Hardware Merchants Association S. Arulananthan said they had been regularly transacting business with that particular Chinese company over the past two years and this was the first time they had been duped by the supplier.
He said all members of the Association have been told to be alert against importing from this particular firm.