Mar 10, 2017

CAA wins SL's biggest cosmetics contraband judgement

Sri Lanka’s apex consumer protection office CAA claimed quick legal victory on 9 March over one of the largest cosmetic contraband stocks ever to be nailed in the country.

Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen who is currently abroad, has commended the CAA officials over phone for the legal victory and also on two other raids by CAA (on match boxes and steel rods). “

Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) seized Sri Lanka’s largest skin cream contraband on March 01 evening when two young and alert CAA officials detected them at a private warehouse in Wellampitiya.

The value of the contraband was estimated at Rs 15.7 million. The March 01 evening raid to at Wennawatte, Wellampitiya (about 7km from Colombo city) warehouse was led by CAA Chairman Hasitha Tilekeratne with the two young CAA officials. They found the same cream in bulk were re-packaged in to smaller retail packs of different Commercial Brands-“Golden Pearl”, “Pai Me” and “Goree (Made in Pakistan)”, among others. Some packs of cream were also labelled “Seaweed Element-Whitening Anti Spot Cream” in English and priced at Rs 650 each. At the warehouse, the CAA found sub-standard creams in bulk packs that were printed in Chinese characters. There were no import documents or proof of country of origin. The suspected individual in charge of the operation also failed to produce any documents showing the location of production of the cosmetics (locally or abroad), product registration certificates or even registration numbers (which was also not found in any labels).

Accordingly, on March 9 the Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court ordered the destruction of the entire Rs 15.7 Mn contraband stock contained in 42000 packets and at present sealed and lying at the Wellampitiya warehouse. CAA officials also said that they are planning to destroy the stock next week in the presence of a court official.

On an anonymous tip-off, on March 9 CAA also successfully raided a manufacturer of match boxes who produced 28080 match boxes valued more than Rs 100,000, thus netting Sri Lanka’s largest ever sub-standard match box haul in recent times from Nittambuwa. CAA found that they were made without completing the mandatory Sri Lanka Standards (SLS) requirements. The suspects are to be produced at Attanagalle Courts on March 17. Also, CAA raided a steel/iron rod maker in Hekitta, Wattala on March 9 who claimed to have manufactured 40 tonnes of iron rods (QST bars) in three sizes (10mm, 12 mm, and 16 mm) but identified by CAA as producing only 12 mm rods despite claiming three sizes, while also allegedly in lower standards than mandatory SLS requirements. The rods, estimated to be worth over Rs 4 million were manufactured locally with imported raw material. CAA has dispatched samples from this 40 MT haul to SLS on 9 March and awaiting results. The recommendation of pending SLS report shall indicate to CAA whether to pursue further legal proceedings or not.


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