Capacity Building Programme for Police Officers on Prevention of Counterfeiting and Smuggling
Focus State: Gujarat
With the objective to sensitize the police officers of Gujarat to combat the socio-economic evils of illicit trade from the society, which are risky parasites to the economy and cause danger to the lives of individuals, FICCI CASCADE organized a “Capacity Building Programme for Gujarat Police Officers on Prevention of Counterfeiting and Smuggling” on 20th May 2022.
Addressing the programme Mr. Saurabh Tolumbia, Deputy Inspector General of Police, CID (Crime and Railways), Gujarat said that the recent biggest seizure in Gujarat included duplicate versions of sunglasses of a high-end brand, worth ₹6 Crores. He stated that there have been 46 copyright cases over the last 2 years and Gujarat Police have managed to seize counterfeit goods worth Rs 12.5 Crore. He further mentioned that the police have seized duplicate watches amounting to more than Rs 3 Crore 31 Lakhs, and duplicate mobile accessories worth Rs 83 Lakhs.
Mr. P C Jha, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs in his welcome address said, “The illegal activities of counterfeiting and smuggling are flooding the market with substandard fake goods which are produced without following quality norms at unhygienic places, and are sold without issuing bills, thus contributing towards increase in unaccounted money.” Trade in counterfeit and smuggled goods has developed a substantial threat to the economy of our country and pose serious safety and security hazards to the society at large, he added. He also stated that the valiant police officers of Gujarat Police, have over the last couple of months taken several actions against criminals dealing with fake currency, illicit alcohol, smuggled cigarettes, fake injections and drugs.
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 highlighted the global estimates of illicit trade. He said that the wider social, investment and criminal enforcement costs due to smuggling and counterfeiting could touch $4.2 trillion by 2022, putting at risk 5.4 million legitimate jobs. As per the recent FICCI CASCADE study, in the FY 2018-19 Indian economy loses Rs 1,17,253 crore due to smuggling in the five key sectors and total livelihood opportunities lost is 16.36 lacs, he added.
He apprised on the innovative ways of counterfeiting and smuggling adopted by the illicit traders to run their illegal market network. He highlighted that India is an emerging economy and is on the right track to become the 3rd largest economy in the world by 2025. To achieve the same, industrial growth need to be increased; more investment needed for growth and development; increase in expenditure on R & D is required and police being the primary enforcement body has to play an important role in enforcing laws.
Mr Pradeep Dixit, Vice President, Industry Affairs, ITC Ltd said, “Smuggling and Counterfeiting expands black markets and encourages a convergence between organized crime, terrorist groups and other threat networks.” Generating mass awareness amongst the consumers is an important mean to curtail the hazards of growing illicit trade, Mr Dixit added.
Mr Nitin Saluja, Senior Policy Manager, Customer Trust, Amazon India discussed about Amazon’s efforts in mitigating fraud and abuse on marketplaces that hamper customer trust and how Amazon via its various initiatives puts in enormous resources to deliver on its established tenets and to make its marketplace a reliable and safe platform for customers, brands, and sellers to conduct transactions. He stated that Amazon is committed to promoting and participating in the efforts for ensuring that the consumers are empowered to enjoy the benefits of online shopping while being protected from the risks the digital era may present.
Over the years, 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 of counterfeiting and smuggling.
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