Ministry of Finance has reported a significant operation carried out by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), resulting in the seizure of smuggled high-end premium watches worth over 30 crores. The operation was based on specific intelligence developed by the DRI Mumbai Zonal Unit, leading to the arrest of one individual and the recovery of a substantial number of luxury watches.
Acting on precise intelligence, the DRI intercepted an individual at Kolkata Airport, who was returning from Singapore with undeclared high-end premium watches of foreign origin. One valuable Greubel Forsey watch was recovered from the person’s possession, leading to his arrest under the Customs Act. Subsequently, a search operation at the individual’s upscale residential complex resulted in the discovery of 34 high-end watches from various premium brands, including Limited Edition models of exceptional value. The total market value of all the watches is estimated to be more than Rs. 30 Crores. The case revealed a serious fraud involving multiple foreign trips and showcases the DRI’s capabilities in detecting and combating sophisticated smuggling methods.
The successful seizure of smuggled high-end watches worth 30 crores is a significant achievement for the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence. It highlights the ministry’s commitment to tackling smuggling and ensuring that individuals evading customs duties are brought to justice. Such operations not only safeguard the country’s revenue but also serve as a deterrent to potential smugglers. The Ministry of Finance and the DRI continue their efforts to combat smuggling and uphold the integrity of the country’s customs regulations.
Ministry of Finance
Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seizes smuggled high-end premium watches of foreign origin worth over 30 crore
Date: 22nd July 2023
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.