The Location of the Fort Preventive office changed and the Branches situated in the main office were shifted to 03 places inside and outside the of the Colombo port. Currently the Preventive Admin Branch and the Director of Preventive office are located in the Customs Head Quarters. In addition to that, there are several ”Sub-preventive Offices" located in major coastal cities, namely. Trincomalee, Galle, Koggala, Negombo, Sinnapadu Hambanthota Beruwala and Katunayake. Preventive Officers stationed in those offices have actively and effectively taken steps to prevent smuggling of goods, commercial frauds and drug offences, inwards and outwards. Further to that, preventive officers stationed in Free Trade Zones also have carried out operations to prevent leakage of dutiable goods from those zones.
Preventive Directorate receives information about various Customs-offences (smuggling, commercial frauds, and drug offences)
mainly from the following two sources:
a) Private informants of the officers attached to the Preventive Directorate.
b) Public informants
In addition to those, the Preventive Officers were able to detect on their own initiative several frauds by perusing the cargo manifest:s and imports clearance documents. The use of online facility to detect the fraudulent consignees has reached a higher level compared to the perusal of hard copies of manifests as well as the CusDecs.
Acting on intelligence gathered the Preventive Directorate has conducted raids and seizures and wa5 able to detect uncustomed goods which have been smuggled or imported without declaring to Customs. Investigations and prosecution of cases were conducted by the preventive officers.
Preventive Directorate has been able to safeguard socio economic, cultural, ecological and environmental interests of the country through its operations.
In addition to the regulations under the Customs Ordinance, officers of the Preventive Directorate ensure the compliance with other laws and regulations such as—
Surveillance of Colombo seaport is done by two of the divisions of the Directorate, namely, the Fort Preventive Office and the Kochchikade Preventive Office, which are in charge of the surveillance of Fort area and Kochchikade area respectively.
Bandaranaike International Airport and the Katunayake Free Trade Zone are supervised by the Sub- preventive Office at Naikanda, while the Biyagama Sub-preventive Office supervises the Biyagama Free Trade Zone.
Supervising the movement of vessels at the four main harbors (including Hambantota port) is one of the responsibilities of the Preventive Directorate. While those activities in Colombo Harbor are supervised by the Fort Preventive Office, such activities in Galle,
Trincomalee and Hambantota are supervised by the sub preventive offices established at those respective ports.
Harbor Duty Officer is deployed at the Fort Preventive Office round the clock to carry out the functions of controlling the vessel movements. He boards the vessels that calls over at the Colombo port and makes sure that those vessels have obtained the clearance from the ”last port of call” to enter the Colombo port. Further, he checks the ISO crew declaration etc. It is one of the responsibilities of the vessel’s local agent (acting as the representative of the captain of the respective vessel)to declare and submit the inward cargo manifest, transshipment cargo manifest and the details of transit cargo contained in each vessel calling over at port of Colombo.
Each departing vessel is granted ”Outward Clearance” by the Harbor Duty Officer, having satisfied that all the related requirements are fulfilled by the vessel’s local agent who is acting as the representative of the captain of the respective vessel.
Central Disposal Unit is entrusted with the disposal of seized and forfeited goods of various Directorates and Units of the whole Depa1ment. The provisions af the Customs Ordinance authorize the disposal of forfeited goods by public auction, and the Tender Sales Procedure established under the Financial Regulations is followed at such auctions.