Police seize two bowsers containing disputed coconut oil

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Two bowser trucks with coconut oil stocks have been seized by the Dankotuwa Police on suspicion of containing carcinogenic substances.

According to reports, the raid was carried out on Monday night (March 29) following a tip-off received through Hotline 119.

Thereby, 27,500 litres of coconut oil have been taken into custody by the investigating officers. The bowser trucks were found while parked at a mill in the Dankotuwa area.

Two drivers of the bowser trucks were also placed under arrest, however, they were later released after recording statements.

Dankotuwa Police said the samples obtained from the seized coconut oil stock will be directed to the Government Analyst for testing.

In the meantime, Director-General of Sri Lanka Customs has informed the companies, which had imported unrefined coconut oil, to re-export the consignment in question within this week.

Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) has confirmed through tests that the unrefined coconut oil stocks, imported to Sri Lanka by four companies, contain the highly carcinogenic substance called Aflatoxin.

The SLSI, the Food Safety Unit of the Ministry of Health, and the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) re-tested the samples of imported unrefined coconut oil, following the appeals made by the importing companies.

However, the test results released on Monday (March 29) reconfirmed that the unrefined oil stocks indeed contained the carcinogen Aflatoxin.

Thereby, Customs Chief Major General (Rtd.) G. Vijitha Ravipriya has ordered the relevant importing companies to re-export the stocks.

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