Bollywood celebs and their airport woes
From losing their baggage to being detained by customs or immigration officials, several Bollywood celebs have had their share of airport trouble in various parts of the world. Last week, pop singer Sukhbir Singh was hauled up at the Lahore airport after he was found to be carrying US $27,000, in excess of permissible limits. He was on his way to Dubai when a luggage scanner showed money in his bag. Pakistani custom authorities detained him for interrogation, but he managed to give them a slip. Cutting aside the drama, here’s a look at
Some Bollywood A-listers who have been detained by airport officials in the past...
In 2013, the actor’s luggage was checked at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport during a routine inspection and he had to cough up R1 lakh as customs duty for personal goods worth about R3 lakh, besides a R70,000 penalty, since he had not declared the goods. He didn’t have the required cash, so he had to leave behind his goods in the custody of the airport authority. RK’s staff then paid the amount and collected his stuff.
While returning to the city from an overseas awards function in 2011, the actress was caught in the customs loop at the Mumbai International airport for carrying undeclared jewellery and expensive watches worth R45 lakh. Anushka then produced necessary documents before she was let off.
During his visit to the US in 2012, the star was hauled up at Chicago Airport with the custom authorities and immigration officials frisking and interrogating him. Some reports suggested that he was even strip-searched by the officials.
She was detained at the Mumbai International airport in 2011 when she returned from her London trip as her “big handbag” made the officials suspicious. After paying duty of R12,000 and one hour of questioning, Bips was allowed to leave.
He was thoroughly quizzed at the New York airport during his visit to the US in 2009 since his passport reflected that he had visited Afghanistan once. He was let off after he managed to convince the officials that he was an actor.
The singer was arrested at the Mumbai International Airport in 2013 for allegedly carrying Indian and foreign currency beyond permissible limit.
Mika was returning from Bangkok by a private airline and was booked for violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act, but was later released on bail.
Shah Rukh Khan
In 2009, when the superstar flew to the US for the promotions of My Name Is Khan, he was detained at the Newark airport by immigration officials over his last name and interrogated for two hours. He was freed after Indian diplomats intervened. Three years later, he faced detention again when New York airport officials stopped him from going out of the premises for nearly an hour and a half. He had flown to the city in a private plane to address students at Yale University. Like SRK, Irrfan was detained at US airports twice — first in 2008 at Los Angeles when he had gone to receive an award for his role in The Namesake and then in 2009 in New York when he was supposed to be feted for Slumdog Millionaire.
In 2011, the actress faced 16 hours of questioning at the city airport for not having declared R50 lakh worth of jewellery. She was returning from Cannes, France via Dubai and was crossing the green channel when she was intercepted by the customs officials.