In Conversation with Mr. Maurice Emiola Adéfalou, Technical Officer, IPR, and Health and Safety Programme Manager in Compliance, WCO
11 October 2021 | 2:30 – 3:30 pm IST
Illicit trade in terms of counterfeiting and smuggling make up a vast ‘global businesses’, representing a multibillion-dollar illegal industry that creates a significant drain on the world economy. FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE) is organizing a series of virtual interactions with esteemed guests who have the knowledge and expertise on various topics pertaining to the subject of illicit trade.
Next in the series is an ‘In Conversation with Mr. Maurice Emiola Adéfalou, Technical Officer, IPR, and Health and Safety Programme Manager in Compliance, WCO’ scheduled for 11th October 2021 at 2:30 pm.
The session will throw light on cross-border trafficking of goods and products, initiatives taken by WCO to arrest this problem and the need for effective collaborations in mitigating this challenge.
Mr. Najib Shah, Former Chairman, CBIC and Think Tank Member, FICCI CASCADE will be moderating the interaction with Mr. Maurice Emiola Adéfalou.
Watch the session at: https://youtu.be/b7-Zl5NXZtsLear More
Capacity Building Programme for State Excise Officials on Prevention of Counterfeiting and Smuggling
Focus State: Rajasthan
15 September 2021 | Medium: VIRTUAL
The magnitude of the problem of counterfeiting, smuggling and piracy is widespread which demands emphasis and priority of enforcement agencies. Capacity building is an ongoing exercise that plays an instrumental role in motivating and enabling the law enforcement strategies to understand the gravity of the problem and take requisite actions against the perpetrators.
It is with the above background that FICCI CASCADE is organizing a capacity building programme for the excise officials of Rajasthan to sensitize the officers on the socio-economic impact of illicit and spurious sales, facilitate better engagement from the industry to support the officers in preventing this menace.Lear More
FICCI CASCADE (Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy) organized a capacity building programme on Prevention of Counterfeiting and Smuggling for the police officers of Jammu and Kashmir on 20th August 2021. Dr S. D. Singh IPS, ADGP, Director, Sher-I-Kashmir Police Academy, Udhampur was the chief guest at the programme. During his keynote address he said, “Counterfeiting and smuggling not only poses serious threat to the health and safety of the consumers but also endangers the national security. This problem holds special concern for us as the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, which is particularly vulnerable to the ill effects of illicit trade, due to hostile the neighbouring nations”.
Highlighting the issue of smuggled and counterfeit goods in the region, Dr Singh said, that the officers of the Jammu and Kashmir police were committed to curb this menace and have a strong hold on the situation. He further added that in recent times they have seized large quantity of fake sanitizers along with huge consignments of illicit cigarettes, alcohol and FMCG products.
During the session, Mr. Deep Chand, Advisor FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi presented an overview on the socio-economic threat of counterfeiting and smuggling. He explained how the police department, being the primary law enforcement agency in the country, play a significant role in ensuring the protection of legitimate businesses from counterfeiters and smugglers. He shared various international and national case studies, police actions against counterfeiters and smugglers, the set of relevant laws, methods adopted by illicit traders, among others, to sensitize the officers of the magnitude of the menace and highlight their role in the fight against counterfeiters and smugglers.
Some of the key recommendations at the programme included, need for an Inter-ministerial set up for cooperation and coordination to effectively combat smuggling and counterfeiting; expeditious investigation of cases; ensuring prosecution in a time-bound manner; training and capacity building of police officers to investigate such cases; rigorous imprisonment and stringent monetary penalty among others. Moreover, effective coordination between central and state agencies, strengthening domestic manufacturing, addressing the demand and supply gap and rigorous enforcement were also emphasized upon as key elements needed to make a conducive environment, free of illicit markets.
One of FICCI CASCADE’s mandate is capacity building of law enforcement agencies including Police, Customs and Paramilitary Forces. It has worked extensively and intensively in this area organizing training programmes and seminars along with continuous interactions with the law enforcement authorities to emphasize on the importance of continued awareness and seriousness of the impact of counterfeit and smuggled goods. The capacity building programme in the Sher-I-Kashmir Police Academy, Udhampur sensitized over 100 officers on the growing dimensions of illicit trade activities through smuggling and counterfeiting detrimental for economy, public health, genuine producers as well as customers.
Mr. Rajesh Sharma, Co-chair, FICCI Jammu & Kashmir State Council and CEO, Skipper Overseas Ltd, in his concluding address, said that India’s economy and public safety continued to suffer from the ill effects of widespread smuggling and counterfeiting, Therefore, arresting this menace is vital. He urged the support of all the stakeholders, especially the police force in thwarting this threat to the nation.Lear More
Border forces are critical stakeholders in combating cross border illegal trading activities. On one hand, while open borders facilitate travel and trade, they also make border control more challenging due to the emerging new forms of cross border crimes. Hence, it becomes vital that officers at the borders are prepared to identify possible suspects and their victims in such ill-intentioned crimes. To understand and deliberate on issues of cross-border smuggling in India, preparedness of the government and initiatives taken by Assam Rifles to combat this menace, Lt Gen Pradeep Chandran Nair, AVSM, YSM, DG, Assam Rifles joined for an ‘In Conversation Series’ programme of FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE) on 17th August 2021. This initiative is a unique forum where eminent guests and subject matter experts discuss and share insights on the various facets of illicit trade, through an interesting, candid conversation.
During the conversation Lt Gen P C Nair said, “Assam Rifles as the Border Guarding Force has been at the helm of affairs to counter the illegal trade along the 1643 km of porous and unfenced border of India-Myanmar. The whole region is of great importance from the economic and strategic point of view and will determine the future growth and development of the region provided necessary steps and initiatives as designed are executed under the ACT EAST POLICY”.
Speaking on the menace of smuggling and illicit trade, Lt Gen P C Nair said, “the Force in the year 2020 seized Rs 857 Cr of illegally traded goods and in 2021, it has already seized illegal goods worth Rs 746 Cr. approx. These seizures are despite the ongoing trade which is alarming and overwhelming, detrimental to national development and India’s Act East Policy”.
He further added that Assam Rifles continues to honour & execute the given mandate in letter and spirit and takes pride in being one of the finest outfits of the nation. The Force is committed to working in synergy with all Central and State agencies to combat illegal trade and smuggling towards its rightful end.
Mr. Deep Chand, Former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, and Advisor, FICCI CASCADE while in conversation with Lt Gen P C Nair said “Illicit trade across the borders is impacting the social fabric of nations; India in particular is a victim of large-scale smuggling. This web of illicit trade has entangled not only the legal industry and governments, but also the consumers who are exposed to grave risks to life and security”.
Mr. Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE welcomed the guests and congratulated Lt Gen P C Nair and the brave hearts of his force who have been determined to protect the infiltration of illicit goods into our country while maintaining security across the borders. He emphasised that the proactive vigilance of the officers of Assam Rifles in intercepting the movement of smuggled goods was a definitive step towards putting fear in the hearts of those who dealt in such illicit trading. Highlighting the linkages of organised crime and illicit trade, Mr Rajput expressed his concern on how the proceeds from illicit trade were increasingly becoming the main source of terror funding. He emphasised on the need to understand this relationship and to work towards effective mechanisms to counter its impact.
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.
Watch the session at: https://youtu.be/o81nEVVJk9sLear More
FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE) organized a Capacity Building Programme on Prevention of Counterfeiting and Smuggling for the officers of West Bengal Police on 3rd August 2021. Chief Guest at the programme, Dr. Debasish Roy, IPS ADG, Training, West Bengal Police, said “Despite various anti-counterfeiting strategies, like raids, use of multiple packaging technologies, consumer education and consultations with government agencies the menace of smuggling and counterfeiting is on the rise.” He further added that frequent seizures of contraband items such as cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and pharmaceuticals along with illegal imports of clothing were causing economic crisis leading to unemployment and poverty.
There are adequate laws available but enforcement of the laws makes the role of police officers very important to fight against counterfeiting, and smuggling.
Mr. Deep Chand, Advisor FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Delhi Police, presented an overview of the socio-economic threat of smuggling and counterfeiting. In his presentation he highlighted how the grey market economy was fueling illegitimate industry, leading to increased criminalization of the society in the form of organized crime including terrorism. He said, “This capacity building programme is aimed to sensitize police officers to emphasize on the importance of continued awareness and seriousness of the impact of counterfeit and smuggled goods.’
Mr. Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE, in his welcome remarks stated, “The Police department is the primary law enforcement agency in our country and plays a significant role in ensuring the protection of legitimate businesses from illicit players. Although there are adequate laws available, their enforcement makes the role of police officers even more important in the fight against counterfeiters and smugglers.” Complimenting the officials of the police department, he further said that during the Covid19 pandemic, our officers had been playing a crucial part in contributing to the effort to control the menace, promoting safer communities, and fighting criminals who were taking advantage of the outbreak.
Some of the key recommendations that emerged during the programme included capacity building in terms of skill, infrastructure and technology among the law enforcement agencies in improving the detection and investigation of crimes; need for additional manpower with the desired aptitude to be provided in special cells, District Investigation Units, Economic Offences Wing who could focus exclusively on the investigation of such cases; severe extant bail provisions; non-bailable offence for repeat offenders; rigorous imprisonment and stringent monetary penalty, among others.
All speakers unanimously agreed that the issue of illicit trade needs to be addressed as a high priority issue for the government. An orchestrated strategy including communication, coordination and close cooperation among various government agencies, law enforcement officials and private sector to combat this menace is imperative. The programme saw participation of several officers of West Bengal Police from Bankura, Islampur, Jagipur, Uttar Dinajpur, Murshidabad, Mednipur, Jhargam, Siliguri and Birbhum.
FICCI CASCADE has been successful in stirring an active debate on the topic nationally through various awareness programmes. Among other activities, FICCI CASCADE has been organizing capacity building programs for police officers in various states, focusing on economic offences such as counterfeiting and smuggling, equipping the officers to understand the laws and take requisite action against counterfeiters and smugglers. In pursuance of its mandate, FICCI-CASCADE will continue to hold similar programmes across the country in briefing enforcement agencies on procedural and enforcement issues while tackling illicit trading activities.
Coverage reportDownload Pdf
SOME P2.3 billion worth of counterfeit luxury-brand items and used clothings or “ukay-ukay” were seized by Bureau of Customs-Manila International Container Port (BOC-MICP) intelligence authorities from a warehouse in Valenzuela City.
The operation is part of the intensified anti-smuggling campaign directive of Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero.
Capacity Building Programme for State Excise Officials on Prevention of Counterfeiting and Smuggling
FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy) organised a capacity building programme on Prevention of Counterfeiting and Smuggling for the excise officers of Odisha on July 22, 2021. Mr. PC Jha, Advisor FICCI CASCADE and Former Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs gave an Overview on Socio-Economic Impact of Counterfeiting & Smuggling, he said that “The pandemic saw a huge setback for the manufacturing sector including the alcohol industry. This unfortunately resulted in less availability of licit products and the gap being filled by counterfeited substandard goods causing greater harm to the life and health of the people.”
Mr. Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE in his welcome address said that “Implementing effective solutions to the complex problems of counterfeiting and smuggling will require cooperation and innovation from the government, enforcement machinery and industry working closely together.” Thanking the officers from the Odisha Excise Department, he stated that their presence is a testimony to the commitment of the Odisha Excise Department in dealing with the rising menace.
During the session, representatives from the alcohol industry highlighted the various challenges pertaining to counterfeit alcohol in India, be it in the form of refilled branded bottles or using counterfeit packaging or forged tax stamps. The workshop was also helpful in sensitizing the officers on the collaborative role which industry and enforcement can play in thwarting this problem.
Illicit markets have broad economy-wide effects on trade, investment, employment, innovation, criminality, environment, and most importantly, on the health and safety of the consumers. Over and above, it also has a negative impact on the brand image and loss of revenue for industry and governments. In the alcoholic beverage industry, the industry is facing a huge issue of the production of alcohol under non-standard conditions which are much more harmful and life threatening. FICCI CASCADE in an earlier report has stated that the grey market of the alcohol industry is about 16.7%, incurring Rs 14,140 crore loss to industry and Rs 6,309 crore tax loss to the government.Lear More
The Koom Kalan police have arrested two liquor smugglers and recovered 72 bottles of illicit liquor. The accused have been identified as Baljit Singh and Shashi Kumar, both residents of Sahnewal.
Koom Kalan SHO Harshpal Singh, said a tip-off was received that the duo were on the way to deliver a consignment of illicit liquor. Accordingly, a police party, led by ASI Kamaljit Singh, laid a naka. The police intercepted a Hyundai Santro car and during the search of the vehicle, the illicit liquor was seized.
The SHO said a case under the Excise Act had been registered a gainst the accused.Lear More
AIZAWL: In yet another success in its crusade against smuggling activities, Serchhip Battalion of 23 Sector Assam Rifles, under the aegis of Headquarters Inspector General Assam Rifles (East), 22 cases of foreign-origin cigarettes were seized in Champhai, Mizoram on Saturday. A person was also detained with the consignment. The approximate market value of the seized cigarettes is Rs 28,60,000. The consignment was handed over to Customs Preventive Force Champhai.Lear More
New Delhi: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence busted a luxury car smuggling racket in Gurugram that had caused a duty evasion of more than INR 25 crore by smuggling 20 vehicles into India in the name of diplomats and diverting the same to private persons.
Three people including the CEO of the luxury car dealership named Big Boys Toyz were arrested by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, said a media release.
According to the release, “Operation Monte Carlo” was launched after DRI received information that a group of individuals was smuggling high-end luxury cars into India under the guise of diplomats and diverting them to private individuals, evading a significant amount of customs duty.Lear More