In a joint operation, Assam Rifles and Customs officials have seized 190 boxes of foreign cigarettes worth Rs 2.47 crore in Champhai district of East Mizoram, the epicenter of Myanmar’s illegal trade.
Officials said on Thursday that paramilitary forces of 23 Sector along with Assam Rifles officers recovered foreign cigarettes from a secluded place in New Jotlang in Champhai district, adjoining Myanmar, on Wednesday night. The confiscated cigarettes were handed over to the Customs Department, Champhai for further legal proceedings.
The Assam Rifles said in a statement that smuggling of drugs and foreign cigarettes is a major cause of concern for Mizoram, especially along the Indo-Myanmar border.
The Mizoram-based International Trade Initiative Forum (ITIF) recently urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Governor of Mizoram to resume trade with Myanmar through the Jokhawthar border point.
A retired IAS officer serving as Manipur Chief Secretary and ITIF President P.C. In the absence of formal and regular official border trade between India and Myanmar, not only is smuggling and illegal trade going unchecked, but the government is losing revenues worth crores of rupees, Lomkunga told IANS.