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Need for a proactive response to prevent online counterfeiting, smuggling cases: Commissioner of Police, Kochi

May 18, 2023

KOCHI, 18 May 2023: Mr K Sethu Raman, Commissioner of Police, Kochi, Kerala today said, "In recent times, there has been a notable surge in online counterfeiting and smuggling cases, necessitating a strong and proactive response to effectively prevent such fraudulent practices."

Addressing the 'Capacity Building Programme for Police Officers of Kochi on Prevention of Counterfeiting and Smuggling' organized by FICCI's Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE), Mr Raman said, "The illicit trade in terms of counterfeiting and smuggling is a significant impediment to the growth of the economy, affecting it in multiple ways."

Mr Raman highlighted the importance of a strong and proactive response to combat counterfeiting and smuggling. He stressed the need for comprehensive training programs that equip police officials with the necessary knowledge and skills to identify, investigate, and dismantle these illicit networks. Additionally, creating extensive awareness among law enforcement agencies and the public about the scale and repercussions of counterfeiting and smuggling is crucial for generating effective collaboration and engagement.

While giving an overview on socio-economic impact of counterfeiting and smuggling, Mr Deep Chand, Advisor, FICCI CASCADE and Former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi said, "The growing intensity of smuggling and counterfeiting is posing a significant risk for knowledge-based, open & globalized economies. The Police department's role is vital in safeguarding the country's national security and economic interests. This involves preventing criminal organizations from making gains from illegal activities and ensuring that legitimate businesses can operate in a secure and safe environment. This capacity building program is aimed to sensitize the Kerala police officers on the importance of continued awareness and seriousness of the impact of counterfeit and smuggled products."

He further stated that as per the FICCI CASCADE's recent report titled 'Illicit Markets: A Threat to Our National Interests', the unlawful trade in the five key industries (Mobile Phones, FMCG-Household and Personal Goods, FMCG-Packaged Foods, Tobacco Products, and Alcoholic Beverages) results in a total estimated legitimate employment loss of 15.96 lakh. The estimated tax loss to the government due to illicit goods in these industries is Rs 58,521 crore, with two highly regulated and taxed industries, tobacco products, and alcoholic beverages, accounting for nearly 49% of the overall tax loss.

Mr S Satyanathan S, Regional Manager- Industry Affairs (South), ITC Ltd. said, "The illegal trade of cigarettes has become one of the most profitable and rapidly growing forms of illicit activity, accounting for one-third of the legal cigarette market in India. This alarming trend underscores the urgent need for heightened surveillance and stricter enforcement measures to effectively curb the proliferation of illegal cigarettes in the country."

Mr Anish Parackal Joseph, Regional Business Manager, Nokia said, "The challenges posed by mobile handset duplication and smuggling are escalating at an alarming rate. We need to redouble our efforts in enforcing the implementation of IMEI numbers. This robust system is essential for establishing fool proof security and enabling the law enforcement agencies, customs, and regulatory bodies to track and seize smuggled or counterfeit devices, protecting consumers from potential risks and curbing the growth of illicit activities."

Over the years, FICCI CASCADE has collaborated closely with the government, industry, law enforcement agencies, legal professionals, consumer organizations, and young people to promote awareness about the detrimental effects of counterfeiting and smuggling. In addition to other initiatives, FICCI CASCADE regularly interacts with law enforcement agencies such as police, customs, and paramilitary organizations responsible for border protection. These engagements aim to raise awareness among the officers about the severity of the issue of counterfeiting and smuggling and the need to address it.

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