Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), the anti-smuggling intelligence and investigation agency functioning under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), observed its 61st Founding Day and concluded Regional Customs Enforcement Meeting (RCEM) on 4th and 5th December, 2018 in New Delhi.
A function to commemorate the occasion was organized at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, New Delhi on 4th December, 2018. The Union Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley was the Chief Guest of the event. Shri Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Secretary (Revenue) and Shri S. Ramesh, Chairman, CBIC were also present on the occasion.
The Union Finance Minister congratulated the DRI and its officers on their performance and exhorted the DRI to maintain high integrity and professional standards, and endeavour to become a ‘near perfect’ organization. Shri Jaitley laid out certain cardinal principles for investigative agencies, including the need to be guided by one sole purpose, which is detection of crime.
During the function, the Union Finance Minister awarded the DRI Martyr’s Medal to Late Shri L. D. Arora, Additional Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise, who laid down his life in service to the Nation while working against the underworld responsible for the Mumbai blasts of 1993. He also appreciated DRI’s initiative to honour its ex-officers for exemplary service with the ‘DRI Utkrisht Seva Samman’.
The Union Finance Minister Shri Jaitley unveiled “Smuggling in India Report 2017-18” which analyses organized smuggling trends on topics such as Gold & Foreign Currency, Narcotic Drugs, Security, Environment, Commercial Frauds. Excerpts of this report are enclosed.
The Inaugural Function was followed by the 5th Regional Customs Enforcement Meeting where the Heads of Customs Enforcement of 21 countries from South-Asia, West-Asia and Asia-pacific, apart from representatives from WCO, Interpol, UNODC and RILO AP were invited.
During the two daymMeeting, there was special emphasis on sharing of data and intelligence between different Customs administrations. Extensive discussions were held regarding mutual strategy to counter organized crime related to drugs, precious metals & stones, money laundering and black economy.
Presentations on these subjects were made by Interpol, World Customs Organization (WCO), Iran, Mauritius and Australia. DRI made the presentation on ‘Data Exchange to Control Illicit Trade’, highlighting the need, relevance, benefit and challenges for effective exchange of Customs data and proposed a four-stage model. This was followed by another presentation by DRI on ‘Drug Trafficking, Smuggling and Organized Financial Crime’.
Interpol outlined the important steps taken in recent times to promote Police-Customs co-operation. The presentation from WCO outlined the strategy and operations against drugs and NPS trafficking. Iran gave a detailed presentation on various kinds of narcotics seizures made by them. UNODC (South Asia), gave a brief overview of the mandate of UNODC which includes combating, apart from drugs and organized crime, terrorism, smuggling and corruption.
The delegate from Mauritius in his presentation laid great emphasis on sharing of information and intelligence on real-time basis. The last presentation was from Australia who elaborated on ‘Passenger profiling and Targeting capability’ and explained their layered approach in profiling, which was highly appreciated.
All the participating countries agreed to co-operate closely and counter the organized cross-border crime.