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Man caught with iPhone X phones worth ₹10.57L at Mumbai airport

A case has been registered against Bhavesh Virani, 28, who was found with 11 iPhones X packed pieces.

mumbai Updated: Nov 06, 2017 10:07 IST
Pratik Salunke
Pratik Salunke
Hindustan Times
Mumbai Airport,iPhone X,Smuggling
Virani was carrying the packed phones in his hand baggage when he was intercepted. He was, however, not arrested because the value of the total seizure was less than Rs20 lakh. 

A passenger arriving from Hong Kong was intercepted at the airport with 11 newly launched iPhone X phones on Friday night, pointing to a likely racket.

A case has been registered against Bhavesh Virani, 28, who was found with 11 iPhones X packed pieces valued at Rs10.57 lakh. “We suspect many people would visit Hong Kong to purchase the phones and bring them to the country. “Passengers can bring duty-free goods worth Rs50,000,” said a senior AIU officer privy to the investigation. “The demand is high in India for the phones, but the supply is less, which paves the way for smuggling.”

Virani was carrying the packed phones in his hand baggage when he was intercepted. He was, however, not arrested because the value of the total seizure was less than Rs20 lakh.

“Gadget freaks are ready to pay extra to get the latest brand and model. We have kept a watch on certain international routes from where we suspect the phones will be brought to the country.” said the officer.

AIU sources said as phones are not prohibited goods, they would levy a fine for the seized phones. Smugglers try to take advantage of the high passenger density at Mumbai airport — among the world’s busiest when it comes to single-runway facilities. “We suspect Virani, who claims to own a shop in Andheri, to be a carrier,” said the officer.

Sources said this trend has been developing over the past few years, each time a a new Apple product is launched.

First Published: Nov 06, 2017 00:13 IST