Singer Mika Singh was detained at the Mumbai airport on Wednesday evening for allegedly carrying currency beyond permissible limit as per the FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) rules.
The 35-year-old, who was returning from Bangkok was detained for around four hours, before he was released on a bail of R1 lakh. “He was found in possession of $11,000 and Rs. 2.75 lakh in cash. The liquor bottles were totally valued at $1,000 (equivalent to Rs. 53,000). As per Customs norms, Indian passengers coming from abroad carrying over USD 5,000 need to declare the same,” says Sameer Wankhede, who heads the customs team that detained him.
Mika says, “It’s a little embarrassing to be caught with only 10,000 dollars, if you must get caught, it should be like Rahat, with a large stash. Some time back I was made to pay Rs. 1.5 lakh for a watch that I had been wearing for ages. As per rules, you do not put duty on used items, but someone there didn’t allow it and instead of creating a scene I simply paid and walked off. It never made news ... clearly someone at the airport wanted to be in media glare today, so be it."