Delhi Customs Preventive Zone destroys 328 kg narcotic drugs, along with 80.2 lakhs sticks of foreign origin cigarettes, worth Rs. 294 crore in New Delhi under Special Campaign 3.0
As part of Special Campaign 3.0 of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), Ministry of Finance, the Customs Preventive Zone, Delhi, destroyed 328 kg narcotic substances, valued at Rs 284 crore, and 80.2 lakh sticks of foreign origin cigarettes, worth Rs 9.85 crore, in safe and non-hazardous manner in the presence of Secretary, D/o Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India; Chairman, CBIC; and Member (Compliance Management), CBIC, in New Delhi today.
The Revenue Secretary; CBIC Chairman; and CBIC Member (Compliance Management), and other senior officials of the Ministry of Finance also conducted an on-site inspection of the illegal goods before commencing its destruction.
In his address on the occasion, Revenue Secretary Shri Sanjay Malhotra stated that destruction of illegal goods is a continuous process being undertaken by the Customs department outside of the Special Campaign as well, however, the Special campaign has given a boost to this process.
Drawing parallel between the destruction of illegal goods and the burning of Ravana during the festival of Dussehra, Shri Malhotra said that today’s actions are symbolic to the victory of good over evil and further avowed the resolve of the department to continue its fight against drug menace to save younger generations.
The narcotic substances being destroyed today consist of 29 kg Heroin, 6 kg Cocaine, 7 kg Amphetamine and 286 kg Khat leaves also known as ‘Catha Edulis’. Majority of the Heroin was seized by the department in 2005-06 and 2009-10 and some quantity was seized in 2022-23. The remaining narcotic drugs were seized in 2022-23. Bulk of the foreign origin cigarettes being destroyed today was seized in 2018 and some quantity was seized in 2023. These cigarettes were seized by the department as these were smuggled into India in violation of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003. The package of these smuggled foreign origin cigarettes did not bear the mandated health and pictorial warning. The NDPS substances and Foreign Origin Cigarettes have been incinerated as per the guidelines under the Hazardous & Other Wastes (M&TM) Rules, 2016 at M/s Biotic Waste Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Delhi, a facility is duly authorised by Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) for destruction of narcotic substances, cigarettes and other bio-degradable waste including bio-medical waste.
CBIC has scaled up activities under Special Campaign for Disposal of Pending Matters (SCDPM) 3.0 in the third week of October 2023 which saw destruction of 365 kg of narcotic substances worth Rs. 1,000 crore and 1.35 crore foreign origin cigarette sticks worth Rs. 13 crore. The department has also weeded out 8,308 physical files and disposed off 9,304 kg scrap, thus freeing up of additional office space of 46,565 sq. ft. Present destruction of narcotic drugs and cigarettes by Customs Preventive Zone, Delhi, is an effort to clean up space towards spreading the message of cleanliness.
As a responsible member of the international community, India has been very active in global efforts to tackle drug menace. India is a party to United Nations conventions on drugs. For giving effects to such Treaties, Indian Parliament enacted the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.
The Indian Customs, in addition to its primary function of revenue collection, also actively takes preventive action against smuggling of contraband and narcotic drugs. Customs officers collect intelligence information from various sources to interdict any incident of smuggling of narcotic drugs through air/sea/land, under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.