The Indian Directorate of Revenue Intelligence department (DRI) is to recieve an award from the United Nations after seizeing over 240,000 kg of R-22 refrigerant in the last year, which was being smuggled into the country.
According to The Hindu, the Agency officials said the DRI has registered several cases involving attempted smuggling of ozone-depleting substances and effected seizure of 241,463 kgs of R-22 gas in the last year.
The gas, whose import is restricted, was being brought into the country illegally through various means including mis-declaration of goods and outright smuggling.
The DRI, which is India’s key intelligence agency dealing with matters relating to violation of customs law, has been awarded the prestigious ‘ECA Ozone Protection Award for Customs & Enforcement Officers (3rd Edition)’ by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in recognition of its contribution to enforce the trade provisions applicable to ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol.
The UNEP award aims to provide incentive and recognition to customs and enforcement organisations and its officers, who succeed in preventing illegal or unwanted trade in ODS and ODS equipment.
Though this award mainly covers European, Caucasus and Central Asian region, an exception was made this year due to the seizures affected by DRI.
DRI is one of the five organisations or individuals recognised and awarded the ‘3rd edition’ of the award this year, the officials said.
A representative of the DRI has been invited to attend the award ceremony in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina in May.