Dia's extra baggage: Pays Rs 1.25 lakh duty

Dia Mirza is the first celebrity of 2012 to be penalised for failing to declare assets worth Rs 2 lakh; reports are  'exaggerated', she claims
It's the one place that celebrities don't want to be recognised -- the customs counter at the airport. Film stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma and many others showcased their acting skills feigning ignorance when questioned for not declaring their assets at airports in 2011.

Not even a week into 2012 and actor Dia Mirza became this year's first celebrity to be detained by custom officials at the Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport after her Thai Air flight from Bangkok landed at 1.30 am on Saturday. She was intercepted by a customs team led by  Deputy Commissioner, Sameer Wankhede for not declaring assets. "She was intercepted for carrying undeclared goods beyond permissible limit. She was allowed to go after payment of fine and duty," Additional Commissioner Customs Mahendra Pal confirmed.

Unlike others Mirza did not claim ignorance about the existing Custom laws, said a customs official. "She was very cooperative throughout. She realised her mistake and immediately called her office to arrange the funds so that duty was paid," the official said. A penalty was imposed on Mirza under several sections of Indian Customs Act.

"She was carrying imported cosmetics and purses worth Rs 2 lakh when the permissible limit for any passenger is Rs 25,000. She was asked to pay the duty on remaining items. The duty, fine and penalty amounted to about Rs 1.25 lakh," said a customs official.

When asked, Mirza claimed that reports had been greatly exaggerated by the media.

With inputs from Anamika More

Celebs at customs in 2011
May: Minissha Lamba fined for assets of R40 lakh
June: Anushka Sharma fined for assets of R35 lakh
June: Vikram Lamba, Mallika Sherawat's brother fined for assets of R15 lakh
July: Shah Rukh Khan paid R1.5 lakh
August: Ekta Kapoor paid R50,000

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