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Expats repeated violation of customs rules prompts probe
November, 30th 2011

The Mumbai International Airport customs are investigating how a Dubai-based Indian woman managed to exit the airport on several occasions in the past without declaring jewellery worth lakhs. On Sunday night, a customs batch headed by deputy commissioner of customs, Sameer Wankhede,

intercepted the 40-year-old woman (name withheld) as she walked through the green channel with seven sets of diamond-studded jewellery weighing 294 gram and worth Rs7.35 lakh.
The woman had arrived from Dubai with her husband, a jeweller, on a Jet Airways flight  and was carrying the jewellery in her handbag.

The authorities were taken aback when the woman admitted that on several occasions in the past, she had arrived in the city with 100-150 gram of personal jewellery but was never stopped by customs officials.

Unaware of the law and expecting a smooth exit this time too, she walked through the green channel with the jewellery, brought for a marriage she had to attend. PM Saleem, commissioner of customs, airport, confirmed the case.

Customs authorities did not arrest the woman. Since the jewellery was not concealed and was not brought to be sold, she was not arrested, said a customs official on condition of anonymity. He, however, added that she would be fined for flouting customs rules.

According to customs rules, a passenger needs to declare his/her personal jewellery at the red channel, especially if the same has been newly purchased and is worth more than Rs25,000. He/she needs to furnish a bank guarantee equivalent to duty amount on the jewellery if he/she intends to personally use it.

Moreover, a check of the womans new passport revealed that she had visited India thrice in the past two years. We will examine her old passport to find out the number of times she visited India after shifting to Dubai, the official said.

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