Economic crimes: FM Nirmala Sitharaman urges DRI to conclude cases quickly

Asia's Tech News Daily

dri, sitharaman, finance, customs, central board of indirect taxes, cbic, economic crimes, smuggling

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday urged officials of intelligence wings to quickly take every case to its logical conclusion, so that it can deter perpetrators of economic crimes like smuggling.

Sitharaman, who was speaking at the 64th Foundation Day of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), said logical conclusion is important, but speedier conclusion is what will keep the heat on people who promote these kinds of activities.

DRI, which is under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), is an intelligence and enforcement agency of the government on anti-smuggling matters.

Sitharaman also stressed on capacity building so that officials are quick to pick up the right intelligence inputs and act on time.

“You get a lot of intelligence inputs, but sometimes and many times, it is difficult to identify if it is really actionable, sometimes they’re so generic. To act on it becomes difficult…capacity to be built within these institutions to make sure you’re able to see which of these intelligence inputs are quickly actionable,” she said.

Based on their vast experience, she said agencies like the DRI can give ideas on the methods through which illegal acts can be prevented.

“I think attempts at prevention will also have to be undertaken by us, while deterrence and detection will always have to be high,” she said.

She exhorted the DRI to be vigilant with regard to toxic waste being dumped into the country.

In emerging economies, “because of the way in which we have built over the decades capacity to recycle materials, I’m afraid quite a large and frequent attempt is being made on bringing in toxic waste to our shores and leaving them there. So, I would think that is an area in which I would like to see DRI (be) more active,” she said.

Sitharaman also pointed out that greater media coverage of the success of DRI would also deter perpetrators of illegal activities.

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