Collaboration with multiple agencies helping us rein in illicit trade: Director General of Police, Mizoram

· Community centric approach more effective in addressing the menace

NEW DELHI, 26 April 2024: Highlighting the effective role of recent collaborations with multiple enforcement agencies in tackling illicit trade, Mr Anil Shukla, Director General of Police, Mizoram, yesterday said that there remains ample room for enhancing capacities.

Addressing the ‘In Conversation Series’ organised by FICCI CASCADE (Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy), Mr Shukla, said, “We have established fruitful collaborations with multiple agencies, including the Assam Police, BSF, Narcotics Departments, and the Customs Department. While these partnerships have been valuable, there remains ample room for enhancing our capacities further. I am eagerly anticipating FICCI CASCADE’s initiative to organise and facilitate such a platform for our officers, which will undoubtedly contribute to our ongoing endeavours in combating illicit trade effectively. The most important or worrisome aspect of smuggling is the movement of drugs in the form of high-quality heroin, ganja and meth. The drug trade has been escalating nearly every year. In 2023, drug seizures amounted to a value of Rs 190 crore.”

Mr Shukla further emphasised that the Indo-Myanmar border presents a significant challenge due to its porous nature, lacking fences and characterised by vast rugged and riverine terrain. Situated within the Golden Triangle, Mizoram experiences substantial trafficking of drugs and contraband. Moreover, the region grapples with the smuggling of areca nut, foreign cigarettes and the illicit trade in exotic animals, he highlighted.

He delved into the landscape of counterfeiting and smuggling within North-East India, with a specific focus on Mizoram, highlighting the associated challenges. Mr Shukla outlined potential strategies to combat this issue, emphasising the importance of a community-centric approach and the enhancement of enforcement and investigative mechanisms. He also welcomed the proposal of a capacity building exercise that can be organised by FICCI CASCADE for the Mizoram Police to bolster the efforts in tackling these threats effectively.

Regarding potential solutions to the smuggling problem, Mr Shukla emphasised that while there may not be ready-made solutions, investing in intelligence gathering and cultivating sources is imperative. He stressed the importance of establishing a network of individuals who possess a deep understanding of local intricacies and terrain. He also advocated for a collaborative approach involving the entirety of society, asserting that a ‘whole of community’ strategy would be more effective in addressing the issue comprehensively.

Mr Deep Chand, Former Special Commissioner, Delhi Police and Advisor, FICCI CASCADE, said, “Illicit trade remains a significant challenge in our country, with counterfeit goods and smuggling activities posing serious threats to our economy and public welfare. As we strive to safeguard the integrity of our markets and protect consumers, the role of law enforcement, particularly the police, becomes paramount. However, it is imperative to recognise that criminal syndicates are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their operations, exploiting loopholes in our systems and utilizing technology to evade detection. FICCI CASCADE has been actively offering capacity-building training sessions to judicial officers, customs officers, and state police officers. We are dedicated to enhancing the skills and knowledge of law enforcement personnel, and we would be delighted to extend our training programs to the Mizoram Police as well. By providing such enablement and training, we aim to equip officers with the tools and expertise necessary to effectively combat illicit trade activities within their jurisdictions.”

FICCI CASCADE has been over the years working closely with government, industry, enforcement officials, legal fraternity, consumer organizations and the youth to create awareness on the adverse impact of the problem of counterfeiting and smuggling. One of FICCI CASCADE’s mandate is capacity building of law enforcement agencies, and it has worked extensively and intensively in this area; organizing training programmes for police officers across India and interactions with the law enforcement authorities to emphasize on the importance of awareness and seriousness of the impact of counterfeit and smuggled goods.

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