Suspicious sand shipment from Hambantota port - Sri Lanka Guardian

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Suspicious sand shipment from Hambantota port

Port authorities told the media that this was carried out by a private company that had brought in a vessel of 8 metres depth to the port. Officers from the Customs Department were present on the occasion when the shipment occurred and the due port charges were also levied, authorities said. The ship was docked at the port for a period of seven days out of which four days was taken up for loading of sand to the vessel.


by Sunimalee Dias

(July 31, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) A consignment of 6000 metric tonnes of sand was shipped to the Maldives about two months ago from the new Hambantota port amidst concerns that it may have come from the illegal sand mining business in the area.

Port authorities told the media that this was carried out by a private company that had brought in a vessel of 8 metres depth to the port. Officers from the Customs Department were present on the occasion when the shipment occurred and the due port charges were also levied, authorities said. The ship was docked at the port for a period of seven days out of which four days was taken up for loading of sand to the vessel.

Environmentalists, who like the port officials declined to be named, say this is a dangerous trend as most of the sand is being extracted from the sea. The sand is believed to have been stored in a large plot of land along the Suriyawewa – Hambantota road although no activity was noted at the time of the visit by a media team last week.

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