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Cigarette smuggling keeps forces on their toes

The unrelenting smuggling of foreign cigarettes from Myanmar to India through the Manipur, Dimapur and Assam routes keeps the security forces on their toes.

Cigarette

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  14 Nov 2022 2:45 AM GMT

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: The unrelenting smuggling of foreign cigarettes from Myanmar to India through the Manipur, Dimapur and Assam routes keeps the security forces on their toes.

The smuggling of foreign cigarettes does not stop since Myanmar, Manipur, Dimapur and Assam serve as the only route for their transportation to the rest of India.

According to DRI (Directorate of Revenue Intelligence) sources, Myanmar and Dubai are the main transit points for sending foreign cigarettes to Indian states. From Myanmar, such consignments enter India through its bordering Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland and reach the rest of India via Assam. According to sources, most of the smuggled cigarette brands violate the COTPA (Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act) by not following mandatory pictorial health warnings or inadequate display of health warnings, not disclosing the place of manufacturing of the cigarette brands, not displaying information regarding health hazards of cigarettes etc. The cigarette brands are from China, Korea, Indonesia and the UK.

Some of the reasons for this thriving smuggling are high-profit margins by the local retailers, the craze of the local youths for foreign cigarette brands at cheaper rates, the tempting flavour of some of the cigarette brands, etc.

According to sources, DRI seized foreign cigarettes worth Rs 76.95 crore in 2019-20 and Rs 93.02 crore in 2020-21.

Also Read: Customs seizes contraband cigarettes worth over Rs 98 L in Guwahati city

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