Confederation of All India Traders
(An Apex Body of Trade Federation, Association & Non-Corporate Sector of India)

“Vyapar Bhawan”
925/1, Naiwala, Karol Bagh, New Delhi-110005,
Phone: +91-11-45032664, Telefax +91-11-45032665
E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.cait.in

Ref. No.: 3301/1/S0

17th November, 2021

Shri Satya Narayan Pradhan
Director General
Narcotics Control Bureau
West Block No. 1, R.K. Puram
New Delhi

Subject: Strict and immediate investigation against Amazon for illicit trade of narcotics in India

Dear Sir,

1. This is regarding recent news reports by prominent sections of the media (Annexure -1) that Amazon has been facilitating sale of Marijuana through its marketplace portal, Amazon.in. We are writing to you to request you to initiate an urgent investigation into these charges so that the racket can be busted.

2. It is a serious question of law that must not be left unattended because it poses national security threats and is similar to illicit trade of arms. Amazon’s involvement in illegal activities to hurt India must not go unnoticed and an investigation must be initiated under NDPS Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

CAIT requests investigation against Amazon for illicit trade of narcotics in India

3. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has not only been very active in the prevention of drug trafficking but also in the recent cases of drug abuse in various parts of the country. We appreciate the efforts of the NCB in this regard because use and abuse of narcotic substances must not be tolerated and must be punished severely.

4. Amazon has always been a violator of Indian laws starting with the FDI/FEMA Policy right from 2013 and then resorting to wide scale violations of the Competition Act to destroy the traditional retail industry of India. Although these violations are equally devastating for small retailers who form the backbone of the Indian retail industry, illegal activities that shake the very foundation of our country deserve the undivided attention of all regulatory and investigating agencies.

5. It is simply astonishing that a technology giant like Amazon which keeps boasting of its capabilities in artificial intelligence and machine learning has been unable to detect what is being sold on its platform. It is our strong belief that Amazon is not only actively facilitating this racket but is actively involved in the smuggling of Marijuana through its platform. This is the only way to justify Amazon’s commission of INR 66 lakhs (66% commission) on the sale of Marijuana worth more than INR 1 crore. Amazon has contravened Section 20(b) of NDPS Act that says “produces, manufactures, possesses. sells, purchases, transports, imports inter-State, exports inter-State or uses cannabis. shall be punishable”.

6. Amazon has boon operating illegally in the garb of being an “intermediary” under the Information Technology (IT) Act. 2000. whereas they arc actively involved in the sale of illegal substances. booking of revenue and huge profits and are also providing their warehousing and delivery services for sole of such illegal items. In fact. Amazon has been resoning to illegal activities of all kinds – ranging from violation of laws like FEMA. Competition Act to supplying raw materials that were used to make bombs for the Pulwama attack and now smuggling of Marijuana to spoil the youth of our country. It is high time that investigating agencies like the NCB take cognizance of the illegal activities of Amazon and initiate an urgent investigation into such smuggling of narcotic substances. This is the need of the hour and must be done immediately before Amazon removes all such stock from its warehouses across the country and conies up with a well thought out justification.

7. It is noteworthy that NCB takes a keen interest in preventing the trade and misuse of narcotic substances to protect the youth of this country and has been proactive to even prevent such misuse for small quantities. Amazon’s involvement could be way more than the seized commercial quantity of 20 kilograms of Marijuana because a similar news story was reported last year in Jaipur where an Amazon.in user was involved in the supply of upto 32 kilograms or Marijuana (Annexure II). Despite the staggering quantity of Marijuana seized. no action has yet been taken against Amazon.

8. We would therefore, like to urge you to initiate an urgent investigation that must look into any and all illicit activities that this racket could be involved in and take stringent penal action against Amazon Lustier section 20 (ii)(c) of the NDPS Act and the IPC.

Looking forward to your consideration.

Thank You.

With kind regards
Truly yours

Praveen Khandelwal
National Secretary General
Confederation of All India Traders

*****

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