In last may, all Sri Lanka media had a hit news in catching 14,000 kg of smuggled Walla patta scientifically known as Gyrinops walla by the Police and the Special Task Force. The price was given as US$ 1.6 million. According to the images showed in the electronic media, those tree samples appeared to be white, which means, there was no or very little agarwood formed in the trees. According to the experiments conducted by Dr. Upul Subasinghe and his team from 2010, about 95% wild-grown Walla patta trees do not produce Agarwood resins. Even if the resin is formed, it is due to natural reasons and therefore it does not evenly spread in the stem.
On the 31st of the same month, China Custom's Department has caught 8.145 kg of Agarwood formed in Aquilaria sinensis trees and the images shown below contain the real "Black Colour" Agarwood. According to the China Custom's sources, those Agarwood pieces are Class II in quality and even not Class I.
Therefore the person or persons valued the smuggled Sri Lankan Walla patta trees as US$ 1,143 per kilo has made another crime by lying to the public and showing the lack of knowledge in the trade. Further, this type of irresponsible behaviour leads to destroy the valuable Walla patta resource in Sri Lanka.
The Agarwood resins have to be artificially formed in the correct size of trees and in the next 6 to 12 month of time, Dr. Upul Subasinghe and his team will be able to come up with the best methods of forming resins in Walla patta under the research grant awarded to them worth about US$ 93,000 by the Government and the Private Sector.