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Sitharaman inaugurates Founding Day of DRI

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, DEC 04, 2020: FINANCE Minister Ms Nirmala Sitharaman today observed the 63rd Founding Day of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), the apex anti-smuggling intelligence and investigation agency under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).

Ms Sitharaman congratulated DRI and its officers on their performance and service and lauded its 800-strong “Lean and mean force” for their efforts.

The finance minister alsounveiled the “Smuggling in India Report 2019-20” which analyses organised smuggling trends on gold and foreign currency, narcotics, security, environment, and commercial frauds.

Sharing data on their performance, DRI said they had seized contrabands worth over Rs 1,900 crore and unearthed evasion of custom duty of over Rs 2,100 crore in 2019-2020. The agency reported that they had detected 412 cases of smuggling, resulting in seizure of contraband worth Rs 1,949 crore. They also unearthed 761 complex cases of customs, involving duty evasion of amount Rs 2,183 crore.

"During the financial year 2019-20, DRI arrested 837 economic offenders, thus denting the mafia network. The Directorate has significantly contributed to the cause of national security by ensuring interception of dual purpose technology goods," the agency noted.

Finance Secretary Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey said, “DRI has contributed to the economic and physical economy of India by actively bringing to light some significant cases of commercial frauds and cross-border smuggling.”

The inaugural session also saw a presentation by the Secretary General of the World Customs Organisation, Dr Kunio Mikuriya, along with a panel discussion attended by representatives from the Australian Border Force, Customs Administration of Netherlands, HM Revenue & Customs (UK) and INTERPOL.