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North-Eastern Police department holds crucial place in upholding law and order, safeguarding businesses: Dy Assistant Director, North-Eastern Police Academy

Apr 28, 2023

UMIAM, MEGHALAYA, 28 April 2023: Mr Pawan Kumar SharmaDeputy Assistant Director, Police Science, North-Eastern Policy Academy (NEPA) today said, "Tackling crimes of illicit trade has been a major concern for nations since decades. The North-Eastern police forces have always been on their toes to capture the criminals who are operating the illegal market. The police department holds a crucial position in upholding law and order and safeguarding lawful businesses from illicit market operators as the primary law enforcement agency in our nation."

Addressing the 'Capacity Building Program for Police Officers of NEPA on Prevention of Counterfeiting and Smuggling' organized by FICCI-CASCADE, Mr Sharma stated that at NEPA, we are engaged in shaping police officers for equitable, effective, and sensitive policing. It is dedicated to teaching the police personnel of North-Eastern states and from across the country to safeguard the value of freedom from disorder, criminal acts, and criminals.

Mr Jitender Kumar Dwivedi, Deputy Director, North-Eastern Police Academy said, "India, as a rising economic superpower need to take offences related to counterfeiting and smuggling very seriously and police has a significant role in fighting this menace." For a police officer investigating cases involving smuggling and counterfeiting, it is crucial to comprehend the potential outcomes of their actions on the ground. This understanding is necessary to make informed decisions and take appropriate measures.

Mr PC JhaAdvisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) said, "Illicit trade has a significant adverse effect on security, environment, health, safety and economy. Illicit trade is a criminal activity with high profits and low risks. Virtually every illicit product is available in the market without exception." The lack of sufficient penalties and prolonged legal processes for prosecution and adjudication fail to deter illicit market operators effectively, he added.

Mr Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi said, "The growing intensity of smuggling and counterfeiting is posing a significant risk for knowledge-based, open & globalized economies. NEPA is one of the best police training academies of India which has been imparting training to the police fraternity of north-east states. The police officers of NEPA are proactive in intercepting the movement of smuggled products and are taking a definitive step towards putting the fear in the hearts of smugglers who deal in illicit trade activities." He appreciated the untiring efforts of the officers for successful interception of products such as illicit cigarettes, liquor, currency, contrabands and many more in the recent past in the North-Eastern states.

He further stated that as per FICCI CASCADE's report "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. 

Mr Pradeep Dixit, Executive Vice President - Industry Affairs, ITC Ltd. said, "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." Generating mass awareness amongst the consumers is an important means to curtail the hazards of growing illicit trade, added Mr Dixit.

Mr Milind Palany, Senior Manager, Global Brand Protection, Southern Asia and ANZ Cluster, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health said, "In India smuggling, counterfeiting, tax evasion and illicit trade is impacting legitimate economic activity. It also deprives the government's revenues for investment in vital public services, dislocating millions of legitimate jobs and causing irreversible damage to ecosystems and human lives." This is critical at a time when India is making strong progress to become a manufacturing hub for the world, supporting innovation in every sector and focusing on people-centric development models. At, Johnson & Johnson Consumer health, we are moving in the right direction to educate the Customs and LEA which are the first line of defense. Together we collaborate to curb the menace and support our growing economy, he added.

The purpose of the two-day training program was to raise awareness among Northeast police officers regarding the necessity of combating the socio-economic harms caused by illicit trade. Illicit trade is a perilous menace to the economy and poses a threat to people's lives. The programme witnessed an enthusiastic participation of 400 officers including (DySPs, cadets and sub inspectors) from different states of Assam, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

Over the years, FICCI CASCADE has collaborated closely with the government, industry, law enforcement agencies, legal professionals, consumer organizations, and young people to promote awareness about the detrimental effects of counterfeiting and smuggling. In addition to other initiatives, FICCI CASCADE regularly interacts with law enforcement agencies such as police, customs, and paramilitary organizations responsible for border protection. These engagements aim to raise awareness among the officers about the severity of the issue of counterfeiting and smuggling and the need to address it.

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