Mumbai customs officials seize two luxury watches from Hardik Pandya

Mumbai: The Customs Department of Mumbai on Sunday seized two wrist watches worth Rs 5 crores from cricketer Hardik Pandya at the airport on his arrival from Dubai, for allegedly not having bill receipt of the watches.

“Customs Department seized two wrist watches worth Rs 5 crores of cricketer Hardik Pandya, on Sunday night (November 14) when he was returning from Dubai. The cricketer did not have the bill receipt of the watches,” Mumbai Customs Department said.

Hardik Pandya was returning from Dubai after India was left to rue what could have been in the UAE after recording their third win, as two defeats in their opening two games against semi-finalists Pakistan and New Zealand ultimately cost them a place in the last four of the T20 World Cup.

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Notably, last year, Hardik’s brother, cricketer Krunal Pandya, was also intercepted at the Mumbai International Airport over suspicion of being in possession of undisclosed gold and other valuables.

Hardik Pandya issues clarification

The cricketer issued a clarification on his Twitter account. He wrote, “Earlier on Monday morning, 15th November, on my arrival from Dubai, after picking up my luggage, I voluntarily went to Mumbai airport customs counter to declare the items brought by me and pay the requisite customs duty. Wrong perceptions have been floating around on social media regarding my declaration to customs at Mumbai airport.”

Speaking about what had happened at the airport, he wrote, “I had voluntarily declared all the items that I’d lawfully purchased from Dubai and was ready to pay whatever duties that needed to be paid. As a matter of fact, the customs department had asked for all purchase documents which were submitted; however, customs is doing proper valuation for duty which I’ve already confirmed to pay”.

Regarding the cost of the watch, he wrote that it is approximately Rs. 1.5 crore and not Rs. 5 crore.

Dismissing allegations against him, he wrote, “I’m a law-abiding citizen of the country and I respect all government agencies. All allegations against me of crossing any legal boundaries are totally unfounded”.

With inputs from agencies

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