Suspect re-remanded for evading customs duty payment

Suspect re-remanded for evading customs duty payment

February 18, 2019   02:29 pm

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A suspect who had evaded paying Rs 40 million Customs duty and was granted bail earlier, has been re-remanded until 25th of February.

The order was issued by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court today (18).

He was produced before the Colombo Magistrate on February 16 and was released on bail.

However, Colombo Additional Magistrate Lochana Abeywickreme has ordered to void the bail release order, as it was delivered mistakenly. Accordingly, she has ordered to re-remand the suspect until the 25th of February.

When the case was taken up today (18), the attorneys representing Sri Lanka Customs informed the court that the magistrate had ordered to release the suspect on bail when on February 16.

The attorneys further pointed out that only a High Court has the jurisdiction to release suspects, who are charged for frauds worth over Rs 1 million under the Customs Act and that a Magistrate’s Court does not have the relevant jurisdiction.

The Customs also presented a report related to the investigations of the case to the Additional Magistrate.

Four suspects were arrested, in a special raid conducted by the Customs officers on February 05, in connection with smuggling in ‘Beedi’ leaves into the country from India via Bangladesh. Further interrogations on the suspects have led to the arrest of this suspect in question, who was identified as the mastermind of the racket.

Suspect’s bail release could obstruct the ongoing investigations and the witnesses of the case could be intimidated by the suspect, the Customs told the court. Hence the Customs sought an order re-remanding the suspect.

The defence attorney had objected the request made by the prosecution.

However, considering the submissions, the Additional Magistrate voided the bail release order and ordered to re-remand the suspect until February 25.

Meanwhile, the Additional Magistrate had further issued another remand order on the suspect for importing black pepper from Vietnam and Brazil and exporting them as local pepper.

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