Singer Mika Singh was detained on Wednesday for trying to move out of the international airport without declaring Rs. 3 lakh and $12,000 (worth Rs 6.36 lakh), an amount more than the permissible limit, which he was carrying during his arrival from Bangkok.
According to the rule, a passenger can only carry foreign currency worth $3,000 in cash and $7,000 in traveller’s cheque.
A passenger is allowed to carry only Rs7,500 in cash. Also, the money needs to be declared while boarding the flight.
Singh was stopped by an Air Intelligence Unit batch headed by deputy commissioner of Customs Sameer Wankhede, while he was walking through the green channel after arriving from Bangkok by a Jet Airways flight at 7.30 pm.
Only those passengers who do not have anything to declare can walk through the green channel.
On checking his bag, the officials found the Indian currency and dollars. They also found two liquor bottles of foreign brand and other branded items such as sun glasses and perfumes, exceeding the duty-free limit.
As Singh had returned from a foreign country in two days, he was allowed to carry duty-free goods worth only Rs. 15,000.
The liquor bottles were totally valued at $1,000 (equivalent to Rs53,000) and the branded items added further to the value of the goods.
When questioned, Singh told the officials that he was not aware of the rule. He claimed that he had carried the cash and such items earlier too, but was never stopped.
The Customs officials have seized the currency and will inform the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the income tax officials.