MYSORE, 29 July 2022: Mr Anupam Agarwal, Director, Karnataka Police Academy, today said that counterfeiting and smuggling has developed a substantial threat to the economy and there is conclusive evidence of the increasing involvement of terror organizations in funding such illicit trade activities. There are adequate laws available, but enforcement of the laws makes the role of police officers even more important in the fight against counterfeiters and smugglers, he added.
Addressing the ‘Capacity Building Programme for Police Officers on Prevention of Counterfeiting and Smuggling’ organized by FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE), Mr Agarwal said, “To meet the vision of our Hon’ble PM of making Indian economy, a US$ 5 trillion economy, all stakeholders like FICCI, Police and industry needs to work together more closely.”
Mr Agarwal said that the loss of revenue to the government due to counterfeiting and smuggling has a direct impact on spending on welfare measures such as health care and education. “Police Department is the primary law enforcement agency in our country and should play a significant role in ensuring that proactive and collaborative actions are taken against illicit players to protect the consumer’s health, life and safety,” he added.
While giving an overview on Socio-Economic Impact of Counterfeiting and Smuggling, Mr Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi highlighted that lack of stringent enforcement, weak surveillance and weak regulatory framework are the main factors responsible for illicit trade. He said that the wider social, investment and criminal enforcement costs due to smuggling and counterfeiting could touch $ 4.2 trillion by 2022, putting at risk 5.4 million legitimate jobs.
Mr Pradeep Dixit, Vice President – Industry Affairs, ITC Ltd. stated that India is the 4th largest and fastest growing market for smuggling of illegal cigarettes, which calls for heightened awareness and sensitization of people in the society.
Mr Nitin Saluja, Senior Policy Manager, Customer Trust, Amazon India said, “Amazon has introduced several initiatives and have put in resources to help customers enjoy the benefits of online shopping. He stated that our focus is to make Amazon marketplace a reliable and safe for customers, brands, and sellers to conduct transactions. We are focused on mitigating fraud and abuse on marketplaces that hamper customer trust while helping protect from the risks the digital era may present,” he added.
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. Among other activities, FICCI CASCADE has been regularly engaging with law enforcement agencies including police, customs and paramilitary organizations engaged in border protection in sensitizing them on the gravity of the problem.