COLOMBO: In August 2018, News 1st exposed a scam where sand mixed with gold was being smuggled out of Sri Lanka. The details revealed by News 1st in the August report have now been confirmed in a special audit report.
The original report – August 4, 2018: News 1st reported that that gold mixed by-products disposed of by three jewellery manufacturers were due to be smuggled out of the country in the guise of exporting sand. We also said that a number of containers with such gold mixed sand were seized by customs officials.
Now the special audit report on the matter has been made public. According to the report, 51 containers with gold mixed sand were smuggled overseas through the Customs.
Twenty-three containers were seized in 2017, 19 of them are still in the custody of the Customs.
According to the Special Audit report, the quantity of gold being smuggled after mixing with sand is more than the number of gold fragments being disposed of by jewellery manufacturers.
The motive behind smuggling gold out of Sri Lanka in this manner is to evade tariffs on gold exports. The report revealed that the 51 containers were exported to countries including;