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Customs seizes 27 crore wrist watch at Delhi's IGI airport, arrests passenger

Delhi Customs seize seven expensive wristwatches worth approximately  ₹28 crores from a passenger at Indira Gandhi International Airport, in New Delhi on Thursday. (ANI )Premium
Delhi Customs seize seven expensive wristwatches worth approximately 28 crores from a passenger at Indira Gandhi International Airport, in New Delhi on Thursday. (ANI )

In the ‘biggest seizure’ of luxury goods at Delhi airport, an Indian national has been arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle seven high-end wrist watches, including the one made of gold and studded with diamonds worth more than 27 crore

An Indian national has been detained for allegedly attempting to smuggle seven expensive wrist watches, including one made of gold and set with diamonds worth more than 27 crore, according to officials. This is the "biggest seizure" of luxury goods at the Delhi airport.

According to an official statement, the seizure was made from an Indian national passenger who was stopped by customs officers on Tuesday after his arrival from Dubai.

It is the largest seizure of luxury or commercial goods in terms of value, according to Zubair Riaz Kamili, commissioner of customs at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport.

“In value terms, it is equivalent to seizing around 60 kgs of gold in one instance," Kamili said drawing a metaphor..

The detailed examination of the baggage and personal search of the passenger resulted in the recovery of seven wrist watches. A statement recording the models of the seized watches was released -- Jacob & Co (model: BL115.30a), Piaget limelight stella (SI.No.1250352 P11179), Rolex oyster perpetual date just (Sl. No. Z7J 12418), Rolex oyster perpetual date just (SI. No. 0C46G2 17), Rolex oyster perpetual date just (SI. No. ZV655573), Rolex oyster perpetual date just (Sl. No. 237Q 5385) and Rolex oyster perpetual date just (Sl. No. 861R9269).

Delhi Customs seize seven expensive wristwatches worth approximately Rs. 28 crores from a passenger at Indira Gandhi International Airport, in New Delhi on Thursday.
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Delhi Customs seize seven expensive wristwatches worth approximately Rs. 28 crores from a passenger at Indira Gandhi International Airport, in New Delhi on Thursday. (ANI )

In addition to these watches, Delhi Customs reported that an iPhone 14 Pro 256 GB and a diamond-encrusted gold bracelet with a combined value of 28.17 crore were also taken back from the passenger. The watches have been seized and the passenger was arrested.

Asenior customs official stated, one of the watches made by Jacob & Co. is the most expensive watch ever seized at the airport and alone is worth 27.09 crore.

He claimed that the alleged passenger and his uncle operate an upscale watch retail store in Dubai with outposts in other regions of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"He was carrying the watches for delivery to a high-profile client in Delhi. The passenger was to meet his client, said to be from Gujarat, at a five-star hotel in Delhi. The client did not turn up for the meeting. So far, the accused has also not disclosed the name of the client saying he fears for his life," the official said, wishing anonymity.

Surjit Bhujbal, the chief commissioner of the Delhi Customs Zone, stated that this seizure was made possible by alert officers at the Delhi airport.

He said, “Indian customs has always ensured maximum facilitation with minimal disturbance to genuine passengers, and simultaneously ensuring to safeguard of economic frontiers by curbing smuggling."

(With inputs from PTI)

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