Based on specific intelligence developed by DRI Mumbai Zonal Unit, one person was in possession of more than 30 smuggled high-end premium watches of foreign origin at his residential premises. The said person had gone abroad and would be returning to India carrying some more high-end premium watches of foreign origin which would be attempted to be smuggled into the country without payment of duty.
Acting on the intelligence, the said individual was intercepted at Kolkata Airport while coming back from Singapore and one very expensive Greubel Forsey brand watch was recovered from his possession which he had not declared before the Customs Authorities. The said person was arrested under Section 104 of the Customs Act, 1962.
Subsequently, the residential premises of the said individual at an upscale residential complex was searched by the officers of DRI, Mumbai Zonal Unit. During the said search operation, 34 high-end watches of various premium brands namely Greubel Forsey, Purnell, Louis Vitton, MB&F, Mad, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille, etc. were recovered. Most of these watches are Limited Edition watches of exceptionally high value. The total market value of all the watches is estimated at more than Rs 30 Crores.
Import of watches by individuals through the baggage attracts 38.5 % of Customs duties as per Baggage Rules, which was evaded by the said individual. The case has unearthed a serious fraud committed over several foreign trips/visits and has reinforced DRI’s ability to detect and combat unique and sophisticated methods of smuggling.