Home / Front Page/ Refuse tea gets slammed hefty fresh fines

Refuse tea gets slammed hefty fresh fines


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 12 May 2016 00:18


Untitled-2Refuse tea racketeers will soon have to fork out hefty fines that are tenfold higher than previously under a new measure to amend the Tea Control Act approved by Cabinet yesterday.

Under a Cabinet paper submitted by Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake, the Tea Control Act No.51 of 1957 will be amended to replace the Sinhala term “kasala” tea with the more appropriate term “refuse tea” to enable its easy identification and categorisation for fining purposes.  The amendments will also empower the Minister to take legal action against refuse tea. Under the new regulations, the maximum fine for an offender has increased from Rs.50,000 to Rs.500,000 while the maximum amount charged in compounding of the offence has risen from Rs.10,000 to Rs.500,000. 

Sri Lanka’s reputation for exporting the world’s highest quality tea has taken a bashing in recent years due to the growing racket of mixing refuse tea with freshly manufactured tea.Refuse tea is often imported from other countries and mixed with Pure Ceylon Tea or coloured to resemble fresh tea. Large scale racketeers then brand the tea as Pure Ceylon Tea and export it to key tea markets around the world.

In a string of raids over the last three years, the Special Task Force (STF) together with the Sri Lanka Tea Board has detected nearly two million kilos of refuse tea. In May 2015 nine containers containing 162 tons of refuse tea to be exported to the Middle East and Europe as ‘Ceylon Tea’ was seized by Sri Lanka Customs at the Orugodawatte Container Yard.

One of the biggest detections for 2015 was made in November when the STF seized 94,000 kilos of refuse tea to be exported under the label ‘Pure Ceylon Black Tea’ to Iraq and Kuwait. The detection was made in a warehouse in Sapugaskanda. Boxes containing 10 kilos of tea each were ready to be dispatched to the Port.

Last year alone the STF detected 244,375 kilos of refuse tea, with the biggest stock of 115,750 kilos being seized in October. In June, 78,000 kilos of refuse tea was detected, with most being found in a warehouse in Kotahena, according to media reports. 

Police had earlier said at least 25 separate groups are engaged in the illegal trade with each container earning an estimated Rs.500,000 in profits to the racketeers.


Share This Article


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

More of the same

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Those of you who’ve read what I have written over the years could, justifiably, experience a sense of déjà vu as you read what follows. That said, I will make no apology for the burden of this piece because it will, again, state the eternal verit


Looking beyond the current political gridlock: Future of Tamil nationalist politics

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The landslide victory of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) in the recently concluded local government (LG) elections naturally attracted much attention to assessing the future trajectory of the domestic political landscape. The heavy focus on th


Liberal democracy is dead. Long live liberal democracy.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Liberal democracy as propounded and practiced by the UNP is dead. Beating up the statistics of the recent local election will not bring it back, but the UNP still remains the best vehicle for reviving liberal democratic ideals. Pohottuwa or the Sri L


Navigating a nuclearised Asia for smaller states: Reviving Sri Lanka’s commitments to disarmament

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Throughout its diplomatic history, Sri Lanka has maintained a strong anti-nuclear stance. Given the perceived need to avoid antagonising nuclear powers in the region, Sri Lanka has communicated this stance as a general normative and ethical position,


Columnists More