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UP Police playing significant role in ensuring protection of legitimate businesses from illicit market operators: Joint CP, UP Police

Nov 28, 2022

LUCKNOW, 28 November 2022: Mr Nilabja Chaudhary, Joint Commissioner of Police, Crime and Hq, Lucknow today said, "The Police Department plays a significant role in ensuring the protection of legitimate businesses from illicit market operators. The Uttar Pradesh police actively seize products such as fake medicines, currency notes, cigarettes and liquor, which have direct repercussions on the law and order and public health and safety." The police department has seen a renewed spate of counterfeit cases in food and beverage industry in the past few months, particularly counterfeit edible oil at Farrukhabad Mandi, 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 Chaudhary stated that illicit trade, in terms of counterfeiting and smuggling, is among one of the factors that is impeding growth of the economy in multidimensional ways. He urged on the need of continuous dialogue with industry association like FICCI in order to make the public aware about the magnitude of the problem and promote fair trade practices to contribute greater equity in trade.  "Capacity building programme in terms of skill, infrastructure and technology is essential for the law enforcement agencies in improving the detection and investigation of crimes relating to counterfeiting and smuggling. Coordinated efforts of the government, industry bodies and enforcement agencies are therefore needed to control the spread of this growing menace," he emphasized.

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 said, "The grey market is fuelling illegitimate industry, leading to an increased criminalization in the society. This capacity building program is aimed to sensitize the UP police officers on the importance of continued awareness and seriousness of the impact of counterfeit and smuggled products."

He further stated that as per the FICCI CASCADE's recent 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% of the overall tax loss.

Col Atul Yadav, General Manager- North, Industry Affairs, ITC Ltd. said, "Illegal activities such as counterfeiting and smuggling are flooding the market with substandard fake and smuggled products which are produced without following quality norms at unhygienic places, and are sold illegally, thus contributing towards increase in unaccounted money." 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.

Representative from HUL and Amazon also shared their views on the industry issues and collaborative actions needed with enforcement agencies to counter such economic crimes. 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.