Quoting Customs sources, it says the imported coconut was being cleared by using the minister’s powers.
A containerload has already been imported, posing a grave threat of disease outbreak to local coconut cultivations.
Previously, serious disease outbreaks in coconut and potato cultivations were reported due to such importations.
Coconut is a key among 35 crops, whose importation is banned.
Grapes and apples are allowed to be imported only from Australia, New Zealand and the US.
Silver Mills imported the coconut
When contacted, plantation industries minister Navin Dissanayake said the Coconut Research Institute has got a private company, Silver Mills (Pvt.) Ltd., to import the coconut in question for a research matter.
Attempts to contact a director of the company failed, as the newspaper was informed no one was at the office at the time of the telephone call.