India all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Tuesday (November 16) dismissed reports of custom officials at Mumbai airport seizing his luxury watches, saying that only one watch worth Rs 1.5 crore had been taken for "proper valuation" after he "voluntarily declared" the items brought by him.
The out-of-favour India all-rounder, who was returning from Dubai after an ordinary outing in the T20 World Cup, which led to his omission from the squad for the T20 series against New Zealand, refuted reports that claimed that the two wrist watches worth Rs 5 crore were seized from him by the customs department.
While he was making the declaration of the imported goods bought, it was found that the price of the watches, as per bills submitted, didn't match the actual value, which is believed to be much more. As per rules, he will have to pay the correct duty fee before he gets back his purchased watches.
"The cost of the watch is approximately Rs 1.5 crore and not Rs 5 crore as per rumours floating around the social media," Pandya tweeted in his defence.
Pandya claimed that he had "voluntarily declared" all the items that he had purchased from Dubai. The law of the land mandates him to declare every item purchased from abroad beyond a certain valuation that's earmarked.
"Early on Monday morning, 15th November, on my arrival from Dubai, after picking up my luggage, I voluntarily went to Mumbai airport customs counter to declare the items brought by me and pay the requisite customs duty.
"Wrong perceptions have been floating around on social media regarding my declaration to customs at Mumbai airport, and I would like to clarify about what transpired."
Pandya said he submitted all the documents of the purchased items. "I had voluntarily declared all the items that I had lawfully purchased from Dubai and was ready to pay whatever duties that needed to be paid.
"As a matter of fact, the customs department had asked for all purchase documents which were submitted, however customs is doing proper valuation of the duty which I have already confirmed to pay."
To conclude, Pandya said that he is fully cooperating with the authorities and will provide every document required to get a clearance. "I am a law-abiding citizen of the country and respect all government agencies. I have received all cooperation from the Mumbai Customs department and I have assured my full co-operation to them and will provide them with whatever legitimate documents they need to get the matter cleared.
"All allegations against me of crossing any legal boundaries are totally unfounded," he stated.