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Prime Minister Narendra Modi affirmed on Monday that India is a 'leading voice' for a coordinated international effort in intelligence, investigation, and indictment of fugitive economic offenders and organized crime syndicates. PM Modi's message came on the occasion of the 65th foundation day of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and he stressed on the adaptation of global best practices for revenue intelligence officers, in order to help them track down economic offenders and protect the economic interests of India.

"When the problem is global, the solution has to be global too," PM Modi said.

He added that fast-changing technology necessitates keeping pace with the latest developments in fintech and digital payment systems. The skills and systems should also be upgraded accordingly.

"I am sure that the DRI will continuously adapt global best practices and processes to further protect the nation's economy," the prime minister said in a written message.

He praised the "indefatigable efforts" of DRI officers who worked against financial fraud and defended the economic interests of India. He asked all DRI officers to similarly devote themselves to the country and contribute to strengthening the resolve of building a strong, self-reliant India in the next 25 years of Amrit Kaal.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence is the apex anti-smuggling agency of the country. The departments work under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs, Union Ministry of Finance with objectives like detecting and curbing the smuggling of contraband, which includes drug trafficking and illicit international trade in wildlife and environmentally sensitive items.

The agency also works towards combating commercial frauds related to international trade and evasion of Customs duty.

DRI officers seized 3,463 kilograms of heroin (including the 2,988 kg seized at Mundra port), 833 kilograms of gold, and 321 kilograms of cocaine, among other contraband, in the last fiscal year of 2020-21.

National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval also praised the role of DRI in interdicting and investigating cases involving sensitive dual-use goods.

"This has contributed immensely to the security of the nation, the safety of its citizens, and India's impeccable record in non-proliferation of sensitive technologies," Doval said.

With inputs from PTI.

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