Two people were arrested by the customs department at the airport today with foreign currency valued at over Rs. 7 million.The customs department said that the Sri Lankan males, aged 34 and 29, are residents of Watawala and Ragala. They were arrested by the customs department with US$ 22,000, Euro 25,900 and Swiss Franc 4,500.00 equivalent to Rs. 7,185,000.00 which was concealed in their baggage.The two men had attempted to take the money out to Singapore on a SriLankan airlines flight.


AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Penn West CEO sees big culture shift away from output, toward profitability by Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press Posted Jan 23, 2014 4:15 pm MDT CALGARY – The CEO of Penn West Petroleum Ltd. says the company is in the midst of a big cultural shift, focused less on churning out as much oil as possible and more on profitability.“I lot of people get hung up on barrels,” said David Roberts, the former Marathon Oil executive who took the reins of Penn West in June. “Barrels don’t matter unless you’re making money.”Roberts defended his company’s new strategy following a nearly 13 per cent slide in its share price over the past two days. On Tuesday, Penn West announced the sale of $175 million in non-core Alberta properties and an update to its production and cost outlook.On Wednesday, the stock lost nearly nine per cent, and on Thursday it lost another four, to close at $7.89 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.“I’m not going to say the market’s wrong. I would speculate they overreacted,” Roberts told a CIBC investor conference in Whistler, B.C., on Thursday.Some analysts were underwhelmed by the asset sale, which follows the closing of $486 million in divestitures late last year. As part of a new strategy announced last November, Penn West has said it aims to divest of up to $2 billion in assets by the end of 2014.“We are encouraged that the company is making traction with additional asset sales, but at the same time this small sale does not really move the needle in terms of improving the company’s (debt to cash flow) ratio,” said Kristopher Zack of Desjardins Securities, who described the metrics of the deal as “not great.”On a more positive note, Penn West is seeing 25 to 35 per cent cost improvements in its main operating areas.“Despite the positive strides in terms of cost reductions, more meaningful non-core dispositions are needed to get debt levels down to what we believe will be considered a manageable level for a dividend-paying corporation,” wrote Zack.“We still believe that we are in a buyer’s market and, as a result, there is still execution risk in selling assets.”Dundee Capital Markets analyst Brian Kristjansen agreed the price Penn West got for the assets was “low.” Although the sale has the benefit of lowering operating costs, it means a reduction in cash flow.However, Roberts said Thursday: “People tend to focus on the wrong metrics. They looked at this in terms of the cash flow per flowing barrel.”He said the deal means Penn West has now exited a region of Alberta it didn’t want to be in and moved 1,800 wells out of its portfolio, improving focus.“That’s a significant metric for a company like ours as we go forward.”Taking into account the dispositions so far, Penn West says its 2014 production is expected at between 101,000 and 106,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, down from an earlier forecasted range of 105,000 to 110,000. It has also chosen not to restore 3,200 barrels per day in production that had been disrupted in 2013.“No offence to the past, because it is what it is, but production was king,” said Roberts.“This is a business about making money, not barrels and that’s a significant culture shift for this company and I think it’s going to continue to bear dividends as we go forward and that’s the reason why I don’t get too hung up on the short-term production issues.”Some of Penn West’s peers, such as Talisman Energy Inc. (TSX:TLM) and Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA), have taken a similar tack in recent months, focusing less on production growth and more on driving down costs.In addition to replacing its CEO, Penn West has also halved its dividend and cut its workforce to 1,400 from 2,300.A year from now, Roberts said Penn West will be a better-performing company “that no longer has just barely got its chin out of the water relative to its debt structure.”“It’s just going to be a cash machine and I think people are going to be happy with that.”Follow @Lauren Krugel on Twitter read more


first_imgWestern explorers settled in China more than 1,500 years earlier than experts had believed, new research has revealed, after archaeologists found the famous Terracotta Warriors could have been made with the help of the Greeks.The 8,000 statues, which guard the mausoleum of the First Emperor, are likely to have been made under the guidance of a European sculptor who worked with locals at the site and took influence from Ancient Greece.An extensive study of sites in Xinjiang Province, China, have revealed European-specific mitochondrial DNA, suggesting Westerners travelled, settled and died there before and during the time of the First Emperor: 1,500 years earlier than currently accepted. The full findings will be broadcast on the National Geographic Channel in the US, and one BBC Two this Sunday.Rachel Morgan, commissioning editor for the BBC, said: “It is thrilling to think that these discoveries, using cutting technologies and the forensic techniques of the 21st century, have the potential to alter what we know about the origin and formation of one of the world’s most powerful countries today and the relationships forged between ancient civilizations.”Dan Snow, who presents the show, said: “It is extraordinary to think that history as we know it is changeable.”The Greatest Tomb on Earth, a one-hour special hosted by Dan Snow, Dr Alice Roberts and Dr Albert Lin will air on BBC Two on Sunday, October 16 at 8pm. The show is presented by Dr Alice Roberts, Dan Snow and Dr Albert LinCredit:BBC  Greatest Tomb on Earth I imagine that a Greek sculptor may have been at the site to train the localsProf Lukas Nickel Dr Xiuzhen added: “We now think the Terracotta Army, the Acrobats and the bronze sculptures found on site have been inspired by ancient Greek sculptures and art”.Prof Zhang Weixing, lead archaeologist at the tomb site, said: “The archaeological work undertaken here recently is more important than anything in the last 40 years. “By systematically examining the First Emperor’s main tomb and subsidiary burials we have discovered something more important even than the Terracotta Army.”Other findings from the site include the mutilated bones of young women, believed to be high ranking concubines, burie with precious jewellery made from pearls and gold.The skull of a young man, believed to be Prince Fu Su, the First Emperor’s eldest son, was also found with a crossbow bolt embedded in it.  Experts are particularly excited by the discovery of DNA suggesting Westerners lived in the area during the time of Qin Shi Huang, from 259 to 210 BC.Dr Li Xiuzhen, Senior Archaeologist at the Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, said: “We now have evidence that close contact existed between the First Emperor’s China and the West before the formal opening of the Silk Road. This is far earlier than we formerly thought.”Evidence of that contact, experts believe, can be found in the style of the Terracotta Warriors, with “no tradition of building life-sized human statues” identified in China before then. Prof Lukas Nickel, chair of Asian Art History at the University of Vienna, believes the tomb of the First Emperor was influenced by the arrival of Greek statues in Central Asia in the century following Alexander the Great.“I imagine that a Greek sculptor may have been at the site to train the locals,” he said.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Achaeologists have looked at the links between China and GreeceCredit:BBC  The Terracotta Warriors draw visitors from around the worldCredit:Reuters Alice Roberts with skull of a worker  Terracotta Warriors The discoveries have been hailed as “more important than anything in the last 40 years” surpassing even the discovery of the Terracotta Army itself in significance. They are thought to be the first documented contact between Western and Chinese civilizations ever recorded.They came about during excavations across the site by Mausoleum archaeologists, which have now been documented for television by the National Geographic Channel and BBC.Key findings include evidence that treasures in the tomb of the First Emperor were created with the help of the West, with inspiration from the statues of Ancient Greece.The tomb complex itself was found to be “much bigger than first thought” – at 38 square miles, 200 times bigger than Egypt’s Valley of the Kings – with two roads out of it identified with drone technology. last_img read more