NEW DELHI, 30 October 2023: Mr S K Gautam, Special Commissioner, Training, Delhi Police today while addressing FICCI-CASCADE Workshop on ‘Capacity Building Program for Police Officers of Delhi’ said, “In today’s fast-evolving landscape, effective law enforcement demands not only knowledge but also adaptability. Our commitment to excellence in police training, in collaboration with FICCI CASCADE, ensures that our officers are well-prepared to address the ever-changing challenges of our society, particularly the concerning rise in smuggling and counterfeiting activities. These unlawful practices not only undermine our national economy but also threaten the well-being of our citizens. Through this program, we empower our officers to combat the insidious forces behind smuggling and counterfeiting, safeguarding our communities, upholding the law, and preserving our nation’s integrity.”
The workshop titled ‘Empowering Actions to Combat Counterfeiting and Smuggling’ will act as a platform for law enforcement officers to augment their abilities in identifying, preventing, and addressing illegal trading operations.
Mr Vijay Singh, Director, Delhi Police Academy, said, “Sensitizing and updating the Delhi Police investigators through this capacity building programme is a part of the continuous endeavor of Delhi Police Academy in creating trained and well oriented police force.”
Mr Singh drew attention to the escalating prevalence of offenses such as counterfeiting, forgery, and smuggling which he attributed to rapid technological advancements, including the use of computers and sophisticated electronic devices. He underscored that the increased demand for illicit products, coupled with a lack of awareness among the general public, contributes to the expansion of these unlawful activities. He stressed that it is mandatory duty of law enforcement agencies to tackle the issues of counterfeiting and smuggling on a broader scale, ensuring that wrongdoers face the full force of the legal system and are duly punished.
Talking about the socio-economic impact of illegal trading, Mr Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, said, “The need to combat illegal trade cannot be overstated. It poses a risk to public health, causes losses to the exchequer, and finances illegal organizations. It creates a shadow economy and erodes precious tax revenue that could otherwise be used to augment public services like healthcare and education. The fight against illegal trade is not only financial but also about safeguarding society as a whole. We must ensure that collective efforts are made to confront this menace.”
Col Atul Yadav, General Manager- North, Industry Affairs, ITC Ltd., stated, “Illegal trading activities create a ripple of economic losses in any country. Whether it is the government, businesses or the consumer – all suffer from the ill-effects of counterfeiting and smuggling. A major driver for the rampant increase of smuggling is high taxes which create a significant arbitrage to fuel such activities. The extent of smuggling in the country is a cause of great concern. However, to effectively tackle the growing menace of smuggling in India, a lot more needs to be done to make the compliance and processes more robust and detection of such crime easier, he added”.
Ms Sreejita Dey, Public Policy Manager – Amazon India said, “Amazon has introduced several initiatives and have put in resources to help customers enjoy the benefits of online shopping.” She stated that our focus is to make Amazon marketplace reliable and safe for customers, brands, and sellers to conduct transactions. In order to safeguard consumers from bad actors, Amazon offers the A-to-Z guarantee, enabling customers to make purchases on their platform with a sense of confidence and security, she added.
As per the FICCI CASCADE’s report titled ‘Illicit Markets: A Threat to Our National Interests’, the unlawful trade in the five key industries (Mobile Phones, FMCG-Household and Personal Goods, FMCG-Packaged Foods, Tobacco Products, and Alcoholic Beverages) results in a total estimated legitimate employment loss of 15.96 lakh. The estimated tax loss to the government due to illicit goods in these industries is Rs 58,521 crore, with two highly regulated and taxed industries, tobacco products, and alcoholic beverages, accounting for nearly 49 per cent of the overall tax loss.
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.