The below Article / Essay is about: Smuggling, its origin, growth and downfall.
Smuggling latterly means bringing into a country or sending out of it goods without paying custom duty. This is an unlawful sort of business. It does harm to the people as well as to the country. It is an anti-social activity. Smugglers amass black money and unaccounted wealth. They disrupt national economy, evade payment of income tax and other taxes and cause a huge drain on foreign exchange. They set up a parallel economy, so today. Ever since the independence of the country, smuggling has been going on thereby doing great damages to the national economy.
On 17th September, 1974 President of Indian suddenly issued an ordinance to enable the government to arrest and detain smugglers up to two years under MISA (Maintenance of Internal Security). As a result of this the customs officers, income tax, authorities and the police declared their war on smugglers. In the biggest anti-smuggling operation such notorious smugglers Kings as Haji, Mastan, Bakhia, Yusuf Patel and other were arrested. The black money worth crores of rupees was unearthed. Effort was made to smash the vast organization that the smuggling kings had built up in various parts of the world. The smuggling and marketing methods has been thoroughly studied before launching campaign to end them.
The war on smuggling formed as part of Government’s policy to check inflation. The Government had already seized illegal property, unaccounted wealth and black money. Raids were made on all big houses which had been evading payment of taxes and hiding wealth.
As a result of the hard measures taken against smugglers, hoarders, tax dodgers and black-marketers, prices of various articles came down in the open market from 5 to 15 percent. Besides the luxury goods the foods-grains like rice, gram etc, registered a downward trend in prices. With the smuggler lings behind bars, the rupee gained in value against the foreign currency.
Smugglers have been responsible for spreading so many social evils like corruption, bribery, etc. They would find the price of each individual that mattered. They paid the price and purchased the individual. It is also said that the top-ranking smuggler had been hoarding money for the political leader to meet election and other expenses.
The big smugglers had built an empire of their own. According to one estimate as many as 1,50,000 youths had been dragged into the smuggling racket in the city of Mumbai alone. They were used as carriers and sellers of smuggled goods, including gold and silver. They owned big hotels, restaurants, cinema houses, etc and showed them “full on all days” even if nobody occupied them. Thus their black money was converted into white money. These places were actually used to provide free and immoral entertainment to people who mattered.
The question arises why the Government was sleeping over this immoral and anti social practice, and why it did not arrest the smuggler before. After all the smugglers could not build their empires overnight. The customs officers, the C.I.D and other concerned must have been in the know if it. Various reasons are given for the delay. One of them is that before President’s ordinance the law was defective with the enactment of the MISA, the smugglers could be arrested and detained and their property could be confiscated without assigning any reason, a war on smuggling was declared.
We only wish that war on smuggling, should be carried to its logical end. Not only the smugglers, but also all those big and small, who have been rendering help to the smugglers should be brought to book. It is also the duty of the public to give their whole hearted co-operation so that the evil of smuggling may be uprooted once for all.