GUWAHATI, Feb 22: Brigadier SK Sheoran, YSM, SM, Deputy Inspector General, Assam Rifles Training Centre, and School, Dimapur addressed the ‘Capacity Building Program for Officers of Assam Rifles on Prevention of Counterfeiting and Smuggling’, organized by FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE) on February 22.
Brigadier Sheoran stated that smuggling and counterfeits hinder progress, and economic growth and create safety hazards for consumers. As a result, significant steps should be taken against illicit traders to tackle the menace. He added that there is a need for stringent punishment and a fear of the law to curtail the problem of illicit trade. He said the only way to stop smuggling at the border is to stay alert and watch everything coming into the country, especially through the porous and unfenced border with Myanmar.
On the other hand, while giving an overview of the socio-economic impact of counterfeiting and smuggling, Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, said, “Assam Rifles’ proactive vigilance in intercepting the movement of smuggled products is a definitive step towards putting the fear in the hearts of smugglers who deal in illicit trade activities.” He appreciated the efforts of Assam Rifles in successfully intercepting illicit cigarettes, liquor, currency, and contrabands, among others, in the Northeastern states. Furthermore, he noted that the capacity-building program seeks to sensitize the officers of Assam Rifles on the issue and amplify the need for a greater focus on combatting smuggling and related crimes at the border.”
Avinash Sinha, Regional, Manager, Industry Affairs (East), ITC Ltd., added, “Among the illicit & smuggled goods, cigarettes have emerged as one of the most lucrative products, witnessing the highest jump in the recent past, and it accounts for one-third of the legal cigarette market in the country.” He added that it calls for heightened surveillance and stricter enforcement to curb the menace of illegal cigarettes in India.”