Smuggling in India
Tue, 27 Dec 2022

Smuggling in India

In news

The Union Minister for Finance released the “Smuggling in India Report 2021-22” which analyses trends such as the Smuggling of Gold, Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, wildlife, Commercial fraud and International enforcement operations & cooperation.

About the report

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has forced smugglers and contraband traffickers to swiftly adapt to the dynamics of changing circumstances and hence have started using novel habitual ways of operations.
  • Gold: India is the world's second-largest consumer of Gold after China.
    • During 2020-2022, the quantum of smuggling has gone up, as economic activities were opened after the pandemic lockdown.

  • Foreign currency: Report says that physical smuggling of foreign currency has been chosen as a recourse for those wishing to move liquid value across borders, without detection.  
  • Cigarettes: High incidence of tax on cigarettes in India results in tax arbitrage in favour of smuggled ones, on which no taxes are paid.
  • Narcotics: Increasing number of cases were detected through the cargo route, due to the breakdown of passenger traffic during the Pandemic and also due to recent political changes in Afghanistan.

  • Red Sanders: High demand and price in the international market is the main cause for illegal felling and smuggling of red sanders.

Laws related to Smuggling in India

  • Customs act 1962
  • Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974

Measure needed to combat smuggling

  • Enacting legislation and plugging the loopholes in the current ones.
  • Ensuring physical security of the borders and coasts.
  • Eliciting cooperation from neighbours.
  • Co-operating with voluntary organisations in the national endeavour to prevent smuggling.


DRI seized 833 kg smuggled gold worth  ₹405 cr in FY22: Report



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