The largest raid carried out by the Customs Revenue Task Force (RTF) on the 9th morning at the Katunayake International Airport has been disbanded on a Presidential directive, Customs sources said.
A load of luggage that had arrived in the country in two airplanes from India had been subjected to a check and the persons who have brought down the luggage have vehemently objected to the inspection. A group of persons in a bus had arrived at the airport to assist these people.
It is normal procedure to take the luggage by the RTF to the relevant terminals to carry out a complete check. However, the luggage that had been seized in this instance had not been checked due to pressure from a higher office.
The RTF had carried out the inspection under the supervision of the Customs Director General on a tip off received by the Customs.
The Airport Security, police and air force personnel have intervened to take under control the objections raised against the inspection. In this backdrop, the Civil Aviation Authority head had also intervened and had released the luggage and goods to the businessmen on a Presidential directive.
The Customs officials say that a large haul of narcotics would have been among the luggage that was prevented from being inspected.
There had also been a large amount of goods that should have been taxed among the released goods. Customs officials say that the bus load of people who arrived at the airport from Colombo indicated the political influence in getting a haul of narcotics released.