‘Imperative to take stern force against counterfeiting’

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It has become imperative that India as part of the global economy calls for stern and resolute counterstrike force against the ill-intentioned activities such as smuggling and counterfeiting, said Bimal Gupta, DIG-cum-Principal of Himachal Pradesh Police Training College.

Addressing the FICCI Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying Economy (CASCADE) virtual capacity building programme for police officers, Gupta said the criminals have started to exploit consumers amid the Covid-19 pandemic through counterfeit medical products, frauds and cybercrimes.

Deep Chand, a former Special Commissioner of Delhi Police, said: “The grey market economy is fuelling illegitimate industry, leading to increased criminalisation of society in the form of organised crimes, including terrorism.

“This capacity building programme is aimed to sensitise police officers to emphasise on the importance of continued awareness and seriousness of the impact of counterfeit and smuggled products.”

P.C. Jha, a former Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, said: “India is a victim of large-scale smuggling, impacting not only the legal industry and economy but also exposing consumers to the grave risks to life and security.”

Complementing the police officers of Himachal Pradesh, he said despite the constant struggle, the enforcement officials have been determined to push back the smugglers, counterfeiters, tax evaders and traffickers.

Some of the key recommendations that emerged at the program included the need for capacity building in terms of skills, infrastructure and technology amongst the law enforcement agencies in improving the detection and investigation of crimes; need for additional manpower, a dedicated Economic Offences Wing and non-bailable offence measures for repeat offenders, including rigorous imprisonment and stringent monetary penalty.

The representatives from ITC and Johnson and Johnson highlighted industry issues and spoke on the need for collaborative actions with the police to counter such offences.

The capacity building programme saw participation of several police officers across the state.

These programmes are aimed to sensitise the police officers on the importance of continued awareness and the seriousness of the impact of counterfeit and smuggled goods on the Indian economy.

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