Cambodians nabbed with Rs.3 lakhs worth ‘Walla Patta’

Cambodians nabbed with Rs.3 lakhs worth ‘Walla Patta’

October 8, 2013   12:14 pm

Two Cambodian nationals have been arrested by customs officers at the Katunayake International Airport when they attempted to leave the country with a haul of Walla Patta herb.

The two suspects were attempting to board a flight to Bangkok, Thailand when they were apprehended last night, Customs Spokesman Leslie Gamini said.

He stated that 31 kilograms of the endemic plant, worth around Rs 327,500, were found concealed in their luggage.

The Walla Patta haul has been confiscated and the two Cambodians fined Rs 200,000, Mr Gamini said.

Scientifically known as Gyrinops walla, the endemic plant is traditionally used for medicinal purposes.

However, it produces a resinous substance called Agarwood, which fetches a high price in other countries as it is used in the production of perfumes.

Transportation or possession of the plant, which only grows in certain parts of the island, is prohibited.

The commercial value of this tree came to light with the recent attempts to illegally fell and smuggle it to extract Agarwood.

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