Our celebs are going through a tough time at the airports. Here’s why...
Neil Nitin Mukesh
When: June 2009
Why: Being too fair, he was mistaken to be a foreigner
Neil went to the US for his film New York’s shooting but was detained at NY airport. Because of his fair complexion, the immigration official refused to believe he was an Indian. “I told him to google search my name. When he realised his folly, he began asking me what kind of films I do,” said Neil.
When: May 18, 2011
Why: For carrying undeclared jewellery
The actor was detained at the Mumbai International Airport, while returning from Cannes International Films Festival for carrying jewellery worth Rs 50 lakh. She later said that the jewellery belonged to Anmol Jewellers and was lent to her for promotional purposes. Minissha was released only after the requisite penalties and fines were made.
When: May 26, 2011
Why: For carrying undeclared goods
Bipasha is the latest celeb to be intercepted by customs officials. At the Mumbai International Airport, Basu, who was returning from London, was asked to pay Rs 12,000 as duty for two Gucci bags, sun-glasses and eight pairs of shoes, worth Rs 65,000 were found in her bags. “It was a routine check up at the airport. I think the customs team is doing an excellent job,” said Basu.
Shah Rukh Khan
When: August 15, 2009
Why: His surname Khan featured on the most common list
SRK, who attended a South Asian event in the US, as the guest of honour, was detained for two hours at the Newark airport. He was freed only after Congress MP Rajiv Shukla spoke to the US authorities and the Indian consulate. “I was really hassled because of my name being Khan. I felt angry and humiliated,” the actor was quoted as saying.
When: April 14, 2011
Why: Was unidentified
At the Chandigarh airport, Preity was asked to show her identity card by a Central Industrial Security Force official before allowing her to board a flight to Delhi. This led to a heated argument between the two. “The CISF official was only doing his duty. Preity was allowed to proceed only after she showed her identity proof,” said Chandigarh Airport Director, HS Toor.