According to a report by ABP News, watches belonging to cricketer Hardik Pandya were seized on Sunday night when Pandya and the rest of the members of Team India were returning from Dubai after getting eliminated in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
Earlier it was reported that the cost of the watch was Rs 5 crores, however, Pandya himself has denied the claim and said the cost of the watch is approximately Rs 1.5 crore.
As Pandya arrived at the Mumbai airport, the customs department found him in possession of the two watches and seized them. According to the department, Pandya allegedly did not have the bill receipt of the luxury watches.
The 28-year-old all-rounder, who is something of a fashion enthusiast, owns some of the most expensive watches in the world. Pandya owns a Patek Philippe Nautilus Platinum 5711, which costs around ?5 crore. He is often seen sporting this watch, among the many luxury timepieces in his collection.
Calling all allegations against him of crossing any legal boundaries “totally unfounded”, he said, “I’m a law-abiding citizen of the country and I respect all government agencies. I’ve received all cooperation from the Mumbai customs department and I’ve assured my full cooperation to them and will provide them with whatever legitimate documents they need to get this matter cleared.”
Last year, his brother and cricketer Krunal Pandya was detained at the Mumbai airport by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for allegedly being in possession of undisclosed high-end watches and gold.
Taking to Twitter, Pandya clarified that he “voluntarily declared” all the items at Mumbai airport and was ready to pay whatever duties that need to be paid. “…I voluntarily went to Mumbai airport customs counter to declare the items brought by me and pay the requisite customs duty. Wrong perceptions have been floating around on social media regarding my declaration to customs at Mumbai airport, and I would like to clarify about what transpired,” he said in a statement.
India will now play against New Zealand in a three-match T20 series starting Wednesday.
Rohit Sharma has been appointed as the team’s captain and Virat Kohli has been rested from the tournament. Pandya, who did have a good outing at the World Cup, has been dropped from the squad against New Zealand. He will be replaced by Venkatesh Iyer.
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