The wife of the industrialist, who was detained for bringing diamond jewellery and other valuable items into Mumbai from London, failed to turn up before the Customs for recording her statement on Tuesday.
The airport Customs had on Monday recorded the couple’s statement after they returned from London by a British Airways flight. The Customs had found diamond jewellery, precious stones and branded leather items, together valued at around Rs 60 lakh, in the couple’s bags.
A Customs officer, requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media, said the couple was allowed to leave on Monday night after their statements were recorded. The authorities had asked the industrialist’s wife to appear before them again on Tuesday. “But she did not turn up,” the officer said.
The Customs will decide the legal recourse on Wednesday. “If she doesn’t turn up, we will have to issue summons to her,” the officer said.
PM Govande, commissioner of customs (airport), confirmed that the couple’s statement was recorded on Monday. “Investigation is going on and goods have been seized,” he said.
Customs authorities said the couple, on arriving from London, walked through the green channel without baggage. Passengers, who do not have anything to declare to the Customs, walk through the green channel. “They had some staff of their company waiting at the airport to collect the baggage,” the officer said.
When the baggage was screened, Customs officers spotted a diamond necklace, bangles, earrings and rings. It also found some precious stones, including a ruby, leather purses and other goods of international brands. Customs rules allow a flier to carry duty free goods worth only Rs 25,000 in the baggage.
Customs officers seized the goods and called the couple, which had already reached home, back to the airport.
The jewellery was sent for valuation. The Customs had on Monday suspected the value of the goods to be around Rs 40 lakh but after valuation, the worth was estimated to be Rs 60 lakh.
The officer said the couple will have to pay 35 per cent duty (on the total value of goods). The Customs could also levy a penalty that could be equal to the value of goods.
The industrialist’s brother is also a Member of Parliament and a business tycoon.