London: The UK government has launched a probe into the over 100 shipping containers sent to Sri Lanka that appeared to carry human remains disguised as recyclable metals, according to a media report.
The Sri Lankan customs on Tuesday ordered the return of 111 containers after finding extremely hazardous materials mixed in with mattresses, plastics and clinical waste. Officials at the port of Colombo made the discovery while investigating a strong smell emanating from the containers which have been arriving at the docks over the past two years.
The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it was investigating reports that human organs and body parts were inside the container, but it was yet to be approached by the Sri Lankan authorities, The Telegraph reported.
“We are committed to tackling illegal waste exports, which is why individuals found to be exporting incorrectly described waste can face a two year jail term or an unlimited fine,” a spokeswoman from the department was quoted as saying in the report.
We are yet to receive a formal request from the Sri Lankan authorities, but Defra has contacted them directly to find out more information, she said.
An official at the Sri Lanka’s finance ministry said that this is a well-organised racket going on since 2017 and that they would raise the issue with the British authorities. PTI AKJ