Seizures of illicit cigarettes jumps by 800% during COVID times

Illicit cigarettes worth around Rs. 412 crores seized in five months (June – October 2020)

FICCI CASCADE praises efforts by the enforcement agencies to curb smuggling

New Delhi

FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE) applauds the enforcement agencies in India for their increased vigilance to combat smuggling activities. In a commendable feat, the agencies have seized astounding quantity of illicit cigarettes worth around Rs. 412 crores in the last five months across India. The seizures witnessed a quantum jump of almost 800% from mere Rs. 52 crores in 2019 (June-Oct) to a mammoth Rs. 412 crores for the same period in 2020. This comes in the wake of several cases being intercepted during the COVID -19 pandemic.

During the last five months, Customs, DRI, Assam Rifles, BSF and State Police have reported large seizures of illicit cigarettes in Mumbai, Kolkata, North East, Bhopal, Hyderabad and several other cities. The increase in the scale of seizures not only highlights the importance of the work done by enforcement agencies but also calls for continued focus on tackling the widespread menace.