Maldivians who travelled from the Emirates Airline flight last Saturday had been held back at the airport for hours during the security check.
However, Customs in a statement said its chief Mohamed Junaid had met with his Sri Lankan counterpart and the Sri Lankan finance minister over the tightened security measures at Sri Lanka’s Bandaranaike International Airport for Maldivians.
Customs had said the security checks for Maldivians would now be lowered to normal standards.
The extra security checks had been conducted as Maldivians were suspected of bringing in goods for trade as baggage without the necessary clearance, the statement said.
However, a local reporter who travelled to Colombo on Friday said customs officers placed just outside the arrival hall are ordering Maldivians to declare goods brought in.
“They are handing a customs declaration form for Maldivians. We have to write down all the items in our luggage in that form. Only after that we are allowed to leave,” the reporter said.
“They question Maldivians bringing in cardboard and regiform boxes. There are only two officers stationed for the security checks. So we had to wait in queue for quite awhile.”
The special security check comes after the murder of a Maldivian in Sri Lanka early this month.
Razeen, who is a notorious former gangster, was found dead with stab injuries in an abandoned paddy field near the Tumbovila Bridge in Piliyandala on November 5. Two suspects — a Maldivian and his Sri Lankan accomplice — have been taken into custody.
Sri Lankan authorities had said the thousands of Maldivians residing in Sri Lanka would be subject to closer scrutiny following the killing. (Courtesy Haveeru)