In a bid to avoid customs duty at the airport, 25-year-old Shahid Patel wrapped a Rolex watch, mobile phones and laptops worth Rs8 lakh in aluminum foil hoping that the baggage screening machines would not detect them. Patel’s luck ran out when customs officials noticed the contraband as his baggage passed through the screening machine.
Patel was caught by a batch of customs officials headed by deputy commissioner Sameer Wankhede while he was trying to walk through the green channel at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport without declaring the goods on Monday. Only a passenger who does not have goods to declare can walk through the green channel.
On checking his baggage, customs authorities found a Rolex watch, 10 i-phones, 10 other mobile phones and two laptops. A senior customs official said that Patel had arrived from London on an Emirates flight. “He had concealed the consignment in around eight packets wrapped in aluminum foil. They were kept below his personal items.”
In his statement, Patel said that his London-based brother gave these goods to him to be distributed as gifts to various people. He admitted that he thought the screening machine wouldn’t detect the goods as they were wrapped in foil.