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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Smuggled Indonesian cigarettes worth Rs6.92 crore seized near Mumbai

This clove flavour and the absence of pictorial warning on the pack makes these cigarettes a hit among youth

mumbai Updated: Oct 27, 2017 21:29 IST
Pratik Salunke
Pratik Salunke
Hindustan Times
Few of the cigarettes the DRI seized.
Few of the cigarettes the DRI seized.(HT)

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) smuggled cigarettes worth Rs6.92 crore from a residential flat and a commercial godown in Bhiwandi on Friday. The intelligence agency said 69.26 lakh sticks of smuggled Indonesian brand Gudang Garam had been seized.

“Absence of pictorial warning that covers 85% of the cigarette pack, which is mandatory as per the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003, make the smoker believe that they are smoking much safer cigarettes than the Indian cigarettes. Hence, smuggled cigarettes and especially Gudang Garam brand, owing to its unique clove flavour, are very popular in India, that too amongst teenagers,” the agency said in a statement.

Statutory warnings in English and Arabic languages printed on the cigarette packets said they were meant for middle-east Asian market, the DRI said.

Cigarette smuggling is lucrative as legal import of cigarettes, in compliance of all the domestic laws, suffers very high rate of import duty. Officials said cigarettes are smuggled from UAE, Malaysia and Singapore. “The caretakers of the godown and the residential flat at Bhiwandi have admitted that the cigarettes were smuggled in to India,” it stated.

First Published: Oct 27, 2017 21:29 IST

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