Chennai Customs addresses a video circulating on social media that claims harassment of a Malaysian couple at Chennai Airport. The Customs authority provides a detailed response to the incident, clarifying the circumstances and the events that transpired during the encounter. Text of the same is as given below:
Recently, a Malaysian lady of Indian origin had posted her video in the social media, stating that she underwent undesirable happenings at Chennai Airport. when she had travelled from Malaysia to Chennai. She inter-alia stated that when she along with her husband arrived at the Chcnnai Anna International Airport, she was asked to remove her mangal sutra/ thaali which was made of gold, and that when she refused, they were held up by Indian Customs for more than two hours. This incident was also reported in certain news channels. Her averments are unfounded and against the facts on record.
In this regard, it is hereby clarified that Customs Officers noticed that two passengers, wearing significant amount of jewellery which appeared to be far in excess of the freely permissible limit, were exiting the airport without declaring the jewellery to Customs. When asked to reveal the details of the gold jewellery worn by them for necessary declaration, she refused to furnish the details claiming that they are her personal jewellery and cannot be revealed. She was not asked to remove her mangal sutra/ thaali as claimed in video clip. Instead of co-operating with the officers these passengers resorted to arguments. After much deliberation the gentleman passenger, the husband of the lady passenger, removed his gold chain and bangle for examination. The same weighed around 285 grams (35 sovereigns) totally valued at Rs. 15 Lakhs the Customs duty payable thereon was estimated to be Rs. 6.5 Lakh. When the passenger was asked to pay Customs Duty leviable thereon, he refused to make the payment. Hence, the 285 Grams of jewellery was detained and a receipt was given to the passenger. After due proceedings. the jewellery detained by the Customs was handed over to the said passenger during his return journey to Malaysia on 23.07.2023 as they had paid the amount towards fine and penalty under the provisions of the Act.
According to Rule 3 of the Baggage Rules 2016 an Indian resident passenger or a tourist of Indian origin is permitted to clear free of duty articles (including gold jewellery other than those mentioned in Annexure I to the Baggage Rules 2016 upto the value of 50,000/- rupees.