Smugglers are now switching over to cigarettes and silk yarn fabric as they are low-risk but are high-reward. Discussing the importance of creating awareness on the new counterfeit products, Ficci organised a seminar, “Combating Counter-feiting and Smuggling — An Imperative to Accelerate Economic Development” on Tuesday.
According to a Ficci report, seizure of cigarettes by the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) increased by 78 per cent in the year 2016-2017. The number of tobacco smuggling cases increased from 1312 in 2015-15 to 3108 in 2016-17, marking a 136 per cent rise.Calling the problem of counterfeit goods a ‘victimless crime’ as no direct harm is done to an individual, J. Parimala Hana Nutan, SP, CID, called for coordinated efforts at all levels to overcome this menace.
Anil Kumar Jain, Principal Commissioner, Customs, said India must work towards implementing stringent rules to punish smugglers. He also appealed to the public to be pro-active in informing the officials whenever they came across any counterfeit activity.Etala Rajendra, state minister for finance and planning, said the police have always acted on any tip-off by the public and action has been taken against the smugglers.
He said that the public should not prioritise on money. They should buy only standard goods with a proper bill. “Telangana has set several standards in tackling smuggling and sale of counterfeit goods. We are the first state in the country to eliminate the trade of gudumba (illicit liquor) and our law and order machinery is leading by example in various aspects. We have not spared any practitioners of illicit trade.”