Guwahati: Lt Gen Pradeep Chandran Nair, AVSM, YSM, Director General, Assam Rifles today said, “Assam Rifles as the Border Guarding Force has been at the helm of affairs to counter the illegal trade along the 1643 km of porous and unfenced border of India-Myanmar. The whole region is of great importance from economic and strategic point of view and will determine the future growth and development of the region provided necessary steps and initiatives as designed are executed under the ACT EAST POLICY.”
Addressing the ‘In Conversation Series’ an initiative of FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE), Lt Gen Nair said, “The force in the year 2020 seized Rs 857 crore of illegally traded goods and in 2021, it has already seized illegal goods worth Rs 746 crore approx. These seizures are in spite of the ongoing trade which is alarming and overwhelming, detrimental to national development and India’s Act East Policy.”
“Assam Rifles as a Force continues to honour & execute the given mandate in letter and spirit and takes pride in being one of the finest outfits of the Nation. The Force is committed to working in synergy with all Central and State agencies to combat illegal trade and smuggling towards its rightful end,” he added.
Mr Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE congratulated Lt Gen P C Nair and the brave hearts of his force who are determined to protect the infiltration of illicit goods into our country while maintaining security across the borders. “The proactive vigilance of the officers of Assam Rifles in intercepting the movement of smuggled goods is a definitive step towards putting fear in the hearts of those who deal in such trading,” added Mr Rajput.
“Moreover, proceeds from illicit trade are increasingly becoming the main source of terror funding. We need to understand this relationship and work towards effective mechanisms to counter its impact,” he added.
Mr Deep Chand, Former Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, and Advisor, FICCI CASCADE said, “Illicit trade across the borders is impacting the social fabric of nations. India in particular is a victim of large-scale smuggling. This web of illicit trade has entangled not only the legal industry and governments, but also the consumers who are exposed to grave risks to life and security.” Issues of cross-border smuggling in India, preparedness of the government and initiatives taken by Assam Rifles to combat this menace were also highlighted in his discussion with Lt. Gen P C Nair.
Border forces are critical stakeholders in combating cross border illegal trading activities. On one hand, while open borders facilitate travel and trade, they also make border control more challenging due to the emerging new forms of cross border crimes. Hence, it becomes vital that officers at the borders are prepared to identify possible suspects and their victims in such ill-intentioned crimes. FICCI CASCADE has been over the years working closely with government, industry, enforcement officials, legal fraternity, consumer organizations and the youth to create awareness on the adverse impact of the problem of counterfeiting and smuggling. Among other activities, FICCI CASCADE has been regularly engaging with law enforcement agencies including police, customs and paramilitary organizations engaged in border protection in sensitizing them on the gravity of the problem.