Collection of intelligence about smuggling of contraband goods
Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence to study and suggest remedies for loopholes in law and procedures to combat smuggling.
Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence – Historical Background
The Central Excise and Customs administration, which was previously deployed during the British Rule mainly for the collection of revenue, was called upon, in the wake of independence, to shoulder the responsibility of guarding the tariff wall along the country’s vast coastline and land frontiers.
Many handicaps such as want of trained manpower and adequate resources in the form of equipments and absence of precise intelligence made our frontiers more vulnerable to economic exploitation.
Added to it was the temptation to evade taxes and controls which was fuelled on account of growing demand for foreign articles which otherwise were subject to high taxation rates and non-tariff barriers on account of the need to foster indigenous industry and to conserve the country’s fast dwindling foreign exchange reserves.
A need was felt to have a centralized agency in India to deal with cases of violations of Customs laws, having ramifications beyond the geographical jurisdiction of localized field formations and for collection, co-ordination and correlation of intelligence with respect to violation of these laws and also to furnish specialized know-how.
A beginning was made in 1953, when a nucleus cell, christened ‘C.R.I.B.’ (Central Revenue Intelligence Bureau), charged with the responsibility of dealing with all matters connected with anti-smuggling and anti-corruption in the Customs and Central Excise organizations all over India was constituted.
It was a small unit consisting of an Assistant Collector and two Superintendents within the Directorate of Inspection (Customs and Central Excise), New Delhi but working directly under the Central Board of Revenue.
By its very composition, a cell like C.R.I.B., could have a very limited scope for wider activities. But various studies undertaken in this small Cell itself revealed that the menace of smuggling had established deep roots in India, which, in turn, spelt out the dire need for establishing a well-organized Central anti-smuggling Organization for planning and directing the anti-smuggling efforts of the various Custom Houses and Central Excise Collectorates throughout India in a scientific manner for successfully meeting the menace of organized smuggling.
Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence – Functions
- Collection of intelligence about smuggling of contraband goods, narcotics, under-invoicing etc. through sources of India and abroad, including secret sources.
- Analysis and dissemination of such intelligence to the field formations for action and working on such intelligence, where necessary.
- Keeping watch over important seizures and investigation cases. Associating or taking over the investigations which warrant specialized handling by the Directorate.c
- Guiding important investigation/prosecution cases. Keeping liaison with foreign countries, Indian Missions and Enforcement agencies abroad on anti-smuggling matters.
- To keep liaison with C.B.I. and through them with the INTERPOL. To refer cases registered under the Customs Act to the Income Tax Department for action under the Income Tax Act.
- To keep statistics of seizures and prices/rates etc. for watching trends of smuggling and supply required material to the ministry of Finance and other Ministries.
To study and suggest remedies for loopholes in law and procedures to combat smuggling.