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Global Cybercrime Enforcement Network to Boost World Economy, Says Finance Minister

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, presided as Chief Guest at today’s opening session of the first-ever three-day Global Conference on Cooperation in Enforcement Matters (GCCEM) in New Delhi.

The Global Commission on Cooperative Enforcement in Enforcement Matters (GCCEM) was initiated by the Union Finance Minister in 2022, who emphasized the need for increased cooperation among international enforcement agencies for timely intelligence sharing. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) and the World Customs Organisation (WCO) are hosting a global conference from 30 October to 1 November 2023, focusing on ‘It takes a Network to fight a Network’.

The conference aims to facilitate sharing of insights, best practices, and collaboration with Indian Customs’ partner administrations. Smt. Sitharaman praised CBIC and DRI for organizing the conference, stating it would benefit not only India’s but also the global economy.

The Union Finance Minister highlighted the importance of facilitation and enforcement in Customs and enforcement agencies, urging officers to remain dedicated, use technology, and share information with domestic and international agencies to deter illicit trade and transnational syndicates. She launched phase IV of ‘Operation Sesha’ by Indian Customs in collaboration with RILO Asia-Pacific and RILO Middle-East to curb illegal trade of timber, including Red Sanders.

The Minister also acknowledged the role of the World Customs Organisation in promoting knowledge sharing among Customs enforcement agencies and called for further legislative and procedural improvements to combat illicit trade. Union Minister of State for Finance Shri Pankaj Chaudhary highlighted the challenges of technology, including Artificial Intelligence, and the need for intelligence sharing and increased collaboration among international agencies.

Secretary General of World Customs Organization Mr. Kunio Mikuriya underlined the importance of sharing knowledge among Customs agencies and transferring it to future generations through mentoring. Shri Sanjay Malhotra highlighted the economic effects of smuggling and its social and national security ramifications, emphasizing the need for a balance between enforcement and trade facilitation.

The inaugural GCCEM conference, attended by over 75 delegates from over 40 Custom Administrations and organizations, aimed to create a platform for enhancing collaboration and forging new partnerships.

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