The recent biggest seizure in Gujarat included duplicate versions of sunglasses of a high-end brand, worth Rs 6 crore, said Saurabh Tolumbia, Deputy Inspector General of Police, CID (Crime and Railways), Gujarat.
Addressing the ‘Capacity Building Programme for Police Officers on Prevention of Counterfeiting and Smuggling’ organised by FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE), Tolumbia said: “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 that the police have seized duplicate watches of high-end brands, amounting to more than Rs 3 crore 31 lakh, and duplicate mobile accessories worth Rs 83 lakh.
P.C. Jha, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Chairman, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs 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, 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 study, in FY 2018-19, Indian economy lost Rs 1.17 lakh crore due to smuggling in the five key sectors and total livelihood opportunities lost is 16.36 lacs, he added.
Pradeep Dixit, Vice President, Industry Affairs, ITC Ltd said: “Smuggling and Counterfeiting expands black markets and encourages a convergence between organised 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, added Dixit.
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.