Feb 12, 2017

CPFA importer’s petition dismissed Featured

The court of appeal has dismissed a writ petition filed by Sena Mills Refineries (Pvt.) Ltd. against the seizure of 24 container-loads of crude palm fatty acid (CPFA) it had imported, and an order against an investigation into the importation of the CPFA.

CA judge Preethi Padman Surasena gave his ruling in the petition on February 06.

The CPFA was seized by the Customs on March 2016 and samples tested at local and foreign laboratories proved the free fatty acid (FFA) content was very high and unfit for human consumption.

As the importer declared it to be CPFA, and not palm oil, in order to evade the payment of taxes, the stock was not checked and as per the food act and Sri Lanka standards.

A relevant gazette says the FFA content should not exceed five per cent and 0.1 pc respectively for unrefined and refined palm oil.

However, tests proved this stock had a FFA content of between 16 and 20 pc.

Increase in heart and cancer patients

Dr. Janak Vidanarachchi of the Peradeniya University’s agricultural faculty has said the consumption of this palm oil would lead to heart ailments and cause cancer.

Sena Mills has got its Malaysian supplier to say in a report that the CPFA is a byproduct of the refining of palm oil.

Customs officials complained to the Malaysian government palm oil board which investigated the matter and found that the stock had been sent to Sri Lanka by mixing 75 pc of refined palm oil with 25 pc of FFA and declaring it to be CPFA.

This racket has been going on since 2012, and 850 container-loads, or 17,000 metric tons, of palm oil had been imported and distributed since then.

Customs suspect an increase in cancer and heart patients in the western province and other areas after 2012 is due to the consumption of this palm oil.