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Directorate of Revenue Intelligence
राजस्व आसूचना निदेशालय
Common nameDRI
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agencyIndia
Operations jurisdictionIndia
Governing bodyGovernment of India
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersNew Delhi, India
Agency executive
Parent agencyCentral Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) (erstwhile Central Board of Excise and Customs)

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) is an Indian intelligence agency. It is India's apex anti-smuggling intelligence, investigations and operations agency.

The Directorate is run by officers from the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) who are posted in its various Zonal Units as well as in Indian embassies abroad as part of the Customs Overseas Intelligence Network. It is headed by a Director General of the rank of Special Secretary to the Government of India. The Agency works to secure India's national and economic security by preventing the outright smuggling of contraband such as firearms, gold, narcotics, Fake Indian Currency notes, antiques, wildlife and environmental products. Moreover, it also works to prevent the proliferation of black money, trade based money laundering and commercial frauds.


The DRI came into existence on 4 December 1957. However the genesis of the DRI may be traced to 1953 with the formation of the Central Revenue Intelligence Board(CRIB) in 1953. CRIB was charged with the responsibility of dealing with all matters connected with anti-smuggling and anti-corruption in the Customs and Central Excise organizations all over India was constituted. It was a small unit consisting of an Assistant Collector and two Superintendents within the Directorate of Inspection (Customs and Central Excise), New Delhi but working directly under the Central Board of Revenue.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence was thus constituted on 4 December 1957, for dealing exclusively with the work relating to the collection and study of information on smuggling activities and the deployment of all anti-smuggling resources at the all India level, besides arranging training for the intelligence and Investigation officers of the Custom Houses and Central Excise Collectorates deployed on similar work.[1]

So began a glorious chapter in the nation's fight against economic offences. The DRI was at the forefront of curbing smuggling and evasion of duty. The charter of the DRI encompassed all aspects of work pertaining to customs, central excise and narcotics which required control, direction and investigation from the centre. Subsequently, specialized agencies to deal with violations of central excise and narcotics were created and the DRI focused on customs offences. It was an organization manned and headed by officers of the Customs Department with officers from other services occasionally coming on deputation. Thus, the DRI has always been and is an organization of the Customs department working under the aegis of the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC )as it was known then, and under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) as it is presently known.[2]

Legal mandate

Though its early days were committed to combating the smuggling in of gold, it now addresses a wide and interconnected gamut of narcotics and economic crimes.[3] DRI enforces provisions of the Customs Act in addition to over 50 other statutes including the NDPS Act, Arms Act, WMD Act etc. DRI is also a part of the Cabinet Secretariat's National Authority Chemical Weapons Convention, the Special Investigation Team on Black Money, the Task Force on Shell Companies, the Multi Agency Center (MAC) on National Security, the Ministry of Home Affairs/NIA's special wings on Left Wing Extremism Financing, as well as various inter-ministerial committees on Terror Financing, Coastal Security, Fake Indian Currency Notes, etc.

DRI has earned fame for huge seizures from all its mandated responsibilities, specially gold, fake Indian currency notes, smuggled foreign currency and narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. In the last 5 years, the DRI has seized more than 540 kg of heroin and 7,409 kg of ephedrine along with other narcotics and psychotropic substances.[4]


DRI is the major intelligence agency which enforces the prohibition of the smuggling of items including drugs, gold, diamonds, electronics, foreign currency, and counterfeit Indian currency. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence functions under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs in the Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue, Government Of India. Headed by Director General (Chief Commissioner Rank) in New Delhi, it is divided into seven zones, each under the charge of an Additional Director General (Commissioner Rank). It is further sub-divided into Regional Units, Sub-Regional Units and Intelligence Cells with a complement of Additional Directors, Joint Directors, Deputy Directors, Assistant Directors, Senior Intelligence Officers and Intelligence Officers.


Reward policy

As per CBIC guidelines, DRI grants rewards to informers for information leading to seizure or recovery of Government dues as an ex-gratia payment. As per extant policy, informers and Government servants are eligible for rewards up to 20% of the net sale proceeds of the contraband goods seized (except substances seized under NDPS Act and gold for which separate rates have been notified) and/or amount of duty evaded plus amount of fine and penalty levied/imposed and recovered.


In fiction

Danny Denzongpa plays the Director of Revenue Intelligence Chief in the movie 16 December.

A TV serial on Sony Channel was aired on every Thursday, named Powder, a production of Yashraj Pictures, which was based on DRI.

See also

Investigation and prosecution


  1. ^ "Government of India, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence".
  2. ^ "Existential crisis for Directorate of Revenue Intelligence". 14 March 2021.
  3. ^ Vyas, Sharad. "DRI unearths Rs. 2,240 cr. banking-hawala scam". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Banned drugs worth Rs 3,000 crore seized". The Economic Times.
  5. ^ Charter of the Organization Archived 20 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine