Sri Lanka customs yesterday ordered the return of container loads of hazardous mortuary and clinical waste illegally imported into the island from Britain under the cover of metal recycling.
Customs officials said the racket dating back to 2017 was uncovered after the Colombo port complained last week that an importer had abandoned 111 containers which were emanating a huge stink.
A total of 241 containers had been imported since 2017 and 130 of them had been taken to a free-trade zone ostensibly for recycling and re-export, customs spokesman Sunil Jayaratne told AFP.
“We are taking immediate action to order the re-export of the 111 containers abandoned at the port,” Jayaratne said.
“The other 130 which had already been cleared from the port will be dealt under environmental and other laws.”
He said the 130 containers were stuffed with used mattresses and plastic and clinical waste imported in violation of international laws governing the shipping of hazardous material.