Seized cigarettes
Seized cigarettes

Indore: A joint team of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence Indore and Bhopal zonal seized more than 1 lakh sticks of smuggled foreign origin cigarettes worth Rs 20 lakh, sources said on Saturday. They were seized on Thursday in Bhopal.

According to DRI, recently sleuths got a tip-off that huge quantity of smuggled foreign origin cigarettes have been kept in godowns in Bhopal. Working on the information, DRI sleuths on Thursday searched the godowns and found more than 1 lakh foreign origin cigarette sticks of brands like Djarum Black, Esse, Pine, Mond, Gudang Garam.

They were smuggled into India and packs do not carry the cancer awareness images and pictorial warnings as mandated by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The goods were seized under Customs Act, 1962, read with Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003, and Cigarettes and Tobacco Products (Packaging and Labelling) Amendment Rules, 2020.

It was found during investigation that these cigarettes landed in Bhopal via Delhi. These smuggled cigarettes are popular among the youth and are sold by local pan shops to trusted customers only.

Smuggling of cigarettes is a serious offence as not only does the government lose huge revenue, taxes being more than 100% on these goods, but also the smuggled cigarettes do not carry mandatory statutory warning on packets, thereby defeating the public awareness statutory requirements.

Two months back, DRI Indore unit seized 1700 kilograms of cannabis in Bhopal and 117 kgs of charas in Narsinghpur.

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