Indian cricketer held at airport over gold watches
Two days after winning the Indian Premier League with the Mumbai Indians, cricketer Krunal Pandya was stopped by airport customs carrying gold and luxury watches, media reports said Friday.
The 29-year-old all-rounder was stopped at Mumbai airport late Thursday as he returned from Dubai where the IPL was played, the Press Trust of India news agency and other media reported.
Pandya, who is often photographed wearing expensive jewellery, was carrying gold watches worth more than $115,000, which exceeded his customs limit.
The player, brother of fellow India international Hardik Pandya, was held for several hours but was freed after telling investigators he was unaware of the rules and would pay any penalties, the reports said.
Neither the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence nor Pandya commented on the case. India is the world's second biggest consumer of gold and men can only bring in $670 worth of gold duty-free, while the allowance for women is twice as much.
Smuggling has increased since import duties were raised in 2016. Indian customs often make such seizures at airports, particularly ahead of major festivals such as Diwali on Saturday.