Sitharaman urges DRI, customs to ensure every economic offender is taken to task
New Delhi, Dec 04: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday urged the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and customs authorities to ensure that every offender of India's economic frontiers is taken to task.
Speaking at the 63rd Founding Day of the DRI, the apex anti-smuggling intelligence and investigation agency functioning under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), she congratulated its officers on their performance and commendable service, especially in times of the coronavirus pandemic. The minister also lauded DRI's 800 officer-strong 'lean and mean force' for their relentless efforts despite imminent risks.
"The Finance Minister encouraged the officers of DRI to continue working hard as the cases booked and arrests affected by DRI, while large, are just the tip of the iceberg and urged DRI and Indian Customs to ensure that every offender of India's economic frontiers is taken to task," an official statement said.
Sitharaman also acknowledged the role of the World Customs Organization (WCO) in anchoring the sharing of actionable inputs between customs enforcement agencies across the world and highlighted the need for ramping up such mutually beneficial exchanges of intelligence.
The minister also unveiled 'Smuggling in India Report 2019-20' which analyses organised smuggling trends on gold and foreign currency, narcotic drugs, security, environment, commercial frauds. Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey said DRI has contributed to the economy by actively bringing to light some significant cases of commercial frauds and cross-border smuggling.
He also emphasised on data analysis, intelligence/ information/ data sharing between the agencies for effective enforcement of laws. The inaugural session was followed by an international panel discussion moderated by the DRI. The panellists included representatives from the Australian Border Force, Customs Administration of the Netherlands, HM Revenue & Customs (UK) and Interpol.