A Customs move to auction a Rolls Royce, a Lamborghini, a Jaguar, a Mercedes Benz, a Hummer and two buses illegally imported to the country has been abruptly stopped at the last minute.
These top-end luxury vehicles seized by the Customs were to be auctioned on Thursday, according to a copy of the Tender Sale document seen by the Sunday Times. It was halted in the 11th hour on the instructions of Customs Director General G.V. Ravipriya. No further details were available for the reasons to stop the auction.
The vehicles that had been seized had no known owner as they had been illegally imported and some of them have parts missing. Several had been imported during the past few months when vehicle import restrictions were in effect, according to Customs sources.
Customs Spokesman Sudath de Silva said there was a tender process whereby seized vehicles were auctioned and that such auctions were held periodically to generate revenue for the Customs Department. He said the power to hold such auctions rested with the Customs DG and he was also well within his rights to cancel them.