Vijayawada: Officers of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Vijayawada, intercepted a container truck and seized imported cigarettes worth Rs. 2.99 crores on 24 May. The truck was coming from New Delhi and was stationed at a goods transport agency godown at Ambhapuram in Vijayawada.
On searching the truck, the officers recovered 300 cardboard boxes containing 29,99,600 cigarette sticks of “Paris” brand made in Myanmar. Stainless steel wares were used to conceal the cigarettes. The officers also seized the container truck valued at Rs. 24,75,000 and the stainless steel wares valued at Rs. 1,26,000.
The officers said that cigarette packets must have a pictorial warning and must display the texts "smoking kills" and "tobacco causes mouth cancer" in both Hindi and English on the packet. The textual and pictorial components of the health warning together cover 85 per cent of the front and back panels of the tobacco package, with 25 per cent dedicated to text and 60 per cent to the picture. The smuggled foreign Paris cigarettes did not conform to the said requirements and were not legally imported into the country. Hence, the cigarettes, valued at Rs. 2,99,96,000, were seized under the provisions of Customs Act 1962 read with the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act 2003, they said.
In another incident, another vehicle containing cigarettes of local origins without any valid documents was also intercepted. The said vehicle was handed over to SGST, Vijayawada, for further verification.