New Delhi [India], December 4 (ANI): Highlighting that huge toxic waste coming to India and dumped here is a big threat, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said that the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) needs to act and catch big fish involved in smuggling of toxic waste.
Addressing the 64th DRI Foundation Day here in Delhi, the Finance Minister said, "Huge toxic waste which comes into the country, they get dumped here is a threat. I am afraid quite a large and frequent attempt is being made on bringing in toxic waste. I would like to see more action from the DRI."
Sitharaman lauded the services of DRI officials acting on the ground to check smuggling cases.
"Every little attempt is important. Look at the numbers of quantities you have detected. Catching 3000 kgs of cocaine, heroin is not simple. I am glad you detected it on the west coast. But that's the brazenness of people who are trying to come in and we need to be conscious, cognizant of this kind of an attempt. Catching 4500 kgs of cannabis is a brace. Dangerous goods are coming to India is just mind-boggling. A seizure of 900 kgs gold at one go is great. I honestly think India needs such an institution as DRI," she said.
The Finance Minister said that 'small fish' in the game are always easily caught, but DRI needs to catch the actual handler, the big-ticket person who's behind this whole thing.
"End of the day the big handlers who are behind it, whether within this country or outside are never brought to justice, and therefore logical conclusion is important. But the speedier conclusion is what will keep the heat on people who are promoting these kinds of activities. So I would think there should be greater attention given to bringing it to a closer bringing it to a logical conclusion, but the speedier you do it, the greater deterrence it can provide," he said.
DRI is the premier intelligence and enforcement agency of the Government of India on anti-smuggling matters.
Over the past six decades, DRI has earned a formidable reputation in protecting the country's economic frontiers and countering the menace of smuggling, tax evasion, commercial fraud, fake Indian currency, and trade-based money laundering.
DRI has also been at the forefront in international Customs collaboration through Customs Mutual Assistance Agreements of CBIC with over 60 other countries, where the thrust is on information exchange and learning from the best practices of other Customs administrations. (ANI)