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Alok Tewari
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) is the apex anti-smuggling agency of the Government of India. Over the past six decades, its role has expanded from preventing the smuggling of contraband across India’s physical frontiers to detecting complex cases of commercial fraud and trade-based money laundering. DRI officers, by their intensive overwatch and constant vigil, have been able to prevent large-scale attempts to dent India’s socio-economic fabric and secure India’s national security interests. The detection and seizure of 3,000 kg of heroin at Mundra Port and the follow-up investigations leading to arrests of crucial persons along with interdiction of dual-use technology goods are examples of DRI’s contribution in the field of national security.
The annual publication of the ‘Smuggling in India Report’ by the DRI provides a valuable window into the challenges faced by the country on the fronts of smuggling, commercial fraud, national security, illegal wildlife trade, and narcotics. It also provides a glimpse of the actions taken by officers of Customs and DRI to detect and deter the contraventions committed in these areas. The latest edition is no exception.
The ‘Smuggling in India Report’ for the financial year 2020-21 is an attempt to compress into a single volume, the collective experiences of officers and staff of DRI in combating the aforesaid challenges over the span of the last financial year. The current report captures issues related to national security, foreign trade policy, gold smuggling, environmental violations, narcotics, import and export frauds, violations of allied Acts, international cooperation, public health and safety.
The perpetrators of contraband smuggling and economic crimes are adopting increasingly deft methodologies to escape the watchful eyes of law enforcement agencies. However, the officers of DRI have risen to the challenge and have used innovative techniques to catch these fraudsters and bring them to book. The intensive use of data analysis techniques both for risk profiling and detection of duty evasion has served the agency well.

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