Delhi Customs seized 37 lakhs Cigarette Sticks; 7.10 lakhs of Foreign origin worth Rs.1 crore
Aside from these foreign-origin cigarettes, packets of Indian-brand cigarettes with a total of 30,21,500 sticks were also discovered. Gold Flame, Gold Clock, Flame, Fun Gold, Impression, Pelicans, and Gold Fighter were among the brands.
The owner of the commodities was unable to produce any paperwork relating to the purchase of the products. The owner of the commodities has been captured, as has the person who hired the premises. Further investigation is underway.
“There is zero tolerance in terms of smuggling of cigarettes into the nation,” said Mr. Surjit Bhujabal, I.R.S., Chief Commissioner of Delhi Customs (Preventive). Further, the provisions of the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply, and Distribution) Act, 2003, are being strictly enforced. Our economy suffers as a result of smuggling.
Indian Customs has been working hard to stem illegal cigarette smuggling into the country. The officers of the Delhi Customs Preventive Commissionerate searched the Godown premises at an Industrial Area in Delhi after getting specific intelligence concerning unlawful storage of forbidden Foreign Brand Cigarettes and also criminal supply of country-made Cigarettes without payment of GST.
Cigarette smuggling is the illegal transit of cigarettes between continents, countries, and provinces by air or sea, mainly to avoid taxes and other restrictions on imports and exports. This allows smugglers to resell the goods at a lower cost and/or recoup the money that would otherwise be paid to the government in customs tax.
More than 100 international contraband cigarette brands are currently flooding the Indian market. Smuggled cigarettes are roughly 5 times less expensive than duty-paid cigarettes. For example, legitimately duty-paid cigarettes cost Rs.330 for ten cigarettes, whereas smuggled cigarettes cost Rs.60 or 80/- per ten cigarettes.
Social Impact and its Counter:
- It should be reminded that smuggling is a criminal offence that violates a number of Indian laws, including the Customs Act, GST legislation, COFESPOSA, LMA, and others, and can result in harsh penalties.
- Smoking is obviously harmful to one’s health, but smuggled cigarettes may be even worse because they lack the health warnings required by the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COPTA Act) and may be made with substandard/toxic substances such as dust.
- Indian law enforcement officers, such as police officers and local government officials, may be instructed to report any occurrence of sale of such foreign-made cigarettes to the nearest Customs/GST office as soon as possible. Staff from the separate COIN formations may be asked to assist in uncovering the likely role of overseas tobacco manufacturers who are also involved in smuggling cigarettes into India.
Our department is always aware and takes fast action on any kind of information, according to Mr. SK Rahman, Principal Commissioner of Delhi Customs (Preventive). A continual vigil is maintained to defend our economic area, as well as concerns connected to tax evasion and the prevention of Customs Act violations.
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