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DRI seizes 34 high-end watches worth Rs 30 crore, intercepts smuggler at Kolkata Airport

Watches of brands such as Greubel Forsey, Purnell, Louis Vuitton, MB&F, Mad, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille and more were seized.

Edited By : Mayank Kasyap | Updated: Jul 23, 2023 06:59 IST
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Premium watch smuggling
Two of the seized watches. (Photo Credit: News 24)

Mumbai: The Mumbai zonal unit of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) recently made a significant breakthrough in a high-profile smuggling case involving premium foreign watches. Acting on intelligence gathered, the DRI intercepted an individual at Kolkata Airport, who was suspected of carrying smuggled luxury watches.

The intercepted individual, upon arriving from Singapore, was found in possession of a valuable Greubel Forsey brand watch, which he had failed to declare to Customs Authorities. This discovery led to his arrest under Section 104 of the Customs Act, 1962. Subsequently, DRI officers conducted a search operation at the suspect’s bungalow.

DRI seizes 34 high-end watches

During the search, the DRI uncovered an astonishing collection of 34 high-end watches, encompassing prestigious brands such as Greubel Forsey, Purnell, Louis Vuitton, MB&F, Mad, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Richard Mille, and more. Most of these watches were Limited Edition timepieces, boasting exceptional value. The combined market value of these recovered watches is estimated to exceed a staggering ₹30 Crores.

Evading the customs duty

Investigations revealed that the individual had been indulging in a fraudulent scheme over multiple foreign trips and visits. The accused attempted to smuggle these luxury watches into the country without paying the mandated 38.5% Customs duties, which apply to watches imported by individuals through their baggage, as per Baggage Rules.

Combating sophisticated smuggling methods

The successful bust has showcased the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence’s proficiency in detecting and combating sophisticated methods of smuggling. By collaborating on intelligence gathering and meticulously executing the operation, the DRI has highlighted its dedication to curbing illegal activities and safeguarding the nation’s financial interests.

The DRI’s recent success in seizing ₹30 Crores worth of smuggled high-end watches is a testament to the organization’s relentless pursuit of criminals involved in illicit activities. The interception at Kolkata Airport and the subsequent search operation highlights the importance of intelligence-driven efforts to combat smuggling and protect the nation’s revenue.

First published on: Jul 23, 2023 06:55 AM IST

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