Oil Stocks- Coconut oil with aflatoxin: Second stock sent back – The Morning
230 MT imported by Edirisinghe Edible Oil (Pvt.) Ltd. re-exported
Balance stocks being identified, segregated by Customs
By Yumiko Perera
An imported consignment of 230 metric tonnes (MT) of coconut oil that contained carcinogenic aflatoxins was re-exported on yesterday (8).
Speaking with The Sunday Morning, Sri Lanka Customs Deputy Director General (Legal Affairs) and Media Spokesman Sudaththa Silva said: “The second shipment of carcinogenic coconut oil which belonged to Edirisinghe Edible Oil (Pvt.) Ltd. was re-exported on 8 May.”
Highlighting that the re-exportation process had been done under the supervision of Customs, Silva added: “This consignment of carcinogenic oil had been brought to the South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT) of the Colombo Port on 30 April. There had been a delay in the arrival of the ‘Ever Ethic’ vessel, which was set to arrive at the Colombo Port on 4 May to take this consignment back. The said vessel arrived at the SAGT on 7 May. The consignment of 230 MT of coconut oil, packed into 12 containers, was subsequently re-exported on 8 May.”
Silva added: “We are still in the process of trying to ascertain the exact quantity, and we are working on identifying and segregating the shipments that have been rejected due to aflatoxins being detected.” Silva further added that the Customs would take necessary measures to re-export the rejected shipments as soon as possible.
This has been the second consignment of carcinogenic coconut oil to be re-exported by Customs. In April, Customs had taken measures to re-export 105 MT of coconut oil that had contained aflatoxins – a stock which had been imported by the Katana Refineries (Pvt.) Ltd.
Tests revealed that some of these consignments of unrefined coconut oil imported by Edirisinghe Edible Oil (Pvt.) Ltd. and Katana Refineries (Pvt.) Ltd. did indeed contain high levels of aflatoxins, owing to which Customs had ordered the relevant companies to re-export their coconut oil stocks.