Indian cricketer and Mumbai Indians all-rounder Krunal Pandya was intercepted at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) on Thursday evening for alleged duty evasion, as he returned from Dubai. Krunal was part of Mumbai Indians which won the recently concluded Indian Premier League held in the UAE.
"Cricketer Krunal Pandya stopped by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) at the Mumbai International Airport over suspicion of being in possession of undisclosed gold and other valuables, while returning from UAE," DRI sources said, according to ANI.
He had reportedly made purchases of valuables, including gold chains, totalling to a huge amount, which was considered much above the permissible limits as per Indian laws.
According to reports, Pandya landed in the city along with other players and crew members of the squad shortly after 5pm. Pandya had allegedly cleared the green channel when he was stopped by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), the apex intelligence organisation of Indian Customs.
He was allegedly carrying two international brand watches without declaration, among other valuables. As per the process, authorities evaluate the cost of the watches through a valuer. The statement of the cricketer was recorded in this regard.
According to a report in The Indian Express, Pandya was allegedly in possession of two diamond-studded Audemars Piguet and two Rolex models that were not declared to Customs. The total value of the watches is estimated to be about Rs 1 crore, the report said, quoting sources.
The report added that the case and the watches have been handed over to the Customs unit at the Mumbai airport and Pandya will have to pay the duty and a fine if he wishes to take possession of the watches.
As imported luxury watches can attract duty of up to 38.5% of value, he will have to cough up around Rs 38 lakh, exclusing fine.
According to an IANS report, Pandya admitted that he was unaware of the rules, apologised and even agreed to pay the penalties on the same.
He further assured that he would not repeat the error after which the DRI allowed him to leave.
Krunal Pandya and his brother Hardik are part of star-studdedn line of Mumbai Indians which won the recently concluded Indian Premier League held in the UAE.
The Rohit Sharma-led side won their fifth IPL title on Tuesday after defeating Delhi Capitals in the finals of the tournament. The franchise had earlier won the tournament in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019.
Krunal has played 71 matches for Mumbai Indians in the IPL. He was the player of the match in the IPL 2017 final and had helped Mumbai Indians defeat Rising Pune Supergiant to claim their third title.