Did socialite Sheetal Mafatlal plan to sell the jewellery that the Customs at Mumbai airport arrested her on Sunday for not declaring?
Sources in the Customs department, who asked not to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media, said they were investigating this line after an anonymous phone call on Wednesday to a senior Mumbai Customs official.
The caller reportedly alleged that the jewellery was to be sold at a private exhibition, the sources said. However, Mafatlal’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde denied that the jewellery was meant to be sold.
“It is not correct. She is not a dealer in diamond or jewellery.”
The Air Intelligence Unit of the Customs had arrested Mafatlal at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on her return from London as she was passing through the green channel without declaring jewellery valued at Rs 53.67 lakh. Only a person who doesn’t have anything to declare can use the green channel.
Mafatlal spent a day in Byculla jail on Monday. She was released on bail on Tuesday. Though Mafatlal claimed the jewellery was inherited from her parents and in-laws, the Customs authorities are not ready to buy her theory.
Customs officials said Mafatlal reported at the AIU office on the airport premises on Thursday as ordered by the court. Customs officials asked her to show documentary evidence that the jewellery was old and inherited. Officials also asked her to show her income tax returns that mentioned the inherited jewellery.
However, Mafatlal told them she did not know what had been mentioned in the I-T returns and would consult her chartered accountant and get back to them on Monday.