Centre approves SCord to tackle smuggling

Last Updated: Wed, Dec 05, 2018 13:54 hrs
Arrest (PTI photo)

New Delhi: In an attempt to tackle smuggling, the Central government has approved Anti-Smuggling National Coordination Centre (SCord) under the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).

All the border agencies like BSF, ITBP, Assam Rifles, SSB and Coast Guards would be the members of SCord, which will help India to formulate a national anti-smuggling policy. On a real-time basis, all these border agencies can share intelligence information in a coordinated manner.

DRI Director General D B Dash told ANI, "We have a huge coastline as well as large land area. Over a period of time, due to the opening up of the economy, lots of new airports have come up along with new airlines. Delhi alone handles about six crore international passengers. If you see the picture, CISF looks after particular aspects, and the Customs Department looks after particular aspects. Smugglers will attempt to smuggle goods and commodities if there is a little laxity by these officials. So, this initiative aims to bring all agencies together and work in a coordinated manner to tackle smuggling."

"If these agencies share intelligence information to us and whatever inputs they have, then you would know that no smuggler can attempt to sneak in India from any part, because the entire country is protected and safeguarded. There would be zero tolerance for smuggling in India," he added.

Stating that trade-based money laundering is one of the focus areas for DRI, Dash said: "Post-demonstration, cash transaction used for crime and black money has reduced. We find that the trade-based money laundering is a method adopted by smugglers nowadays to either transfer illicit money abroad or to bring money into the country."

He said that in Mumbai, the DRI had recently found one particular case pertaining to the import of rough diamonds where a group of smugglers had declared Rs 156 crore, but on expert evaluation, the diamonds were worth of just Rs 1 crore.

"So to that extent as against Rs 1 crore of real value, they had declared Rs 156 crore. That means Rs 155 crore has gone abroad illegally. We found that this group had imported about Rs 4,000 crore of a rough diamond in a period of just one year. This shows the magnitude of this type of modus operandi of transferring illegal money from across the border into India or from abroad," Dash elaborated.

He further said that the DRI for the first time did a joint operation with the Indian Army on the India-Pakistan border to combat the smuggling of the drugs. In this regard, Dash said that the India-Pakistan border is a very challenging border.

"We had specific intelligence about smuggling of narcotics into the country through the border. We joined hands with that Indian Army since our manpower resources are less. During the operation, a huge consignment of heroin worth Rs 106 crore was recovered. Later, we seized arms and ammunition after the Army had killed a terrorist during an operation there," he further said.