Santosh Singh alias Pintu, son of RN Singh - the chairman of Uttar Bhartiya Sangh, a prominent organisation representing North Indians in Mumbai - was on Friday arrested at the city’s international airport for trying to evade duty on goods worth Rs 22 lakh. He was released on bail the same day.
Singh is the director of a well-recognised city-based security firm BIS Ltd. According to airport sources, after his flight from London landed, he made his way through the green channel – reserved for those incoming international passengers carrying goods within the customs limits.
He was intercepted when officials checked his baggage and found undeclared branded watches worth Rs 17 lakh. Other undeclared goods worth Rs 5 lakh were also recovered.
Sources said Singh got agitated when officials asked him to pay a 36% duty on the undeclared valuables. “He started abusing the officials, threatening them by dropping some big names,” a source said.
Singh, who also runs a Hindi newspaper ‘Mahanagar’, tried to influence customs officials by invoking former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Rajnath Singh and other recognised Congress leaders, the source added. But he was arrested.
“We arrested Singh for carrying undeclared items worth of Rs 22 lakh. He was released on bail,” said Samir Wankhede, assistant commissioner, air intelligence unit. When customs officials asked him what he intended to do with the watches, he said they were for personal use. He is fond of watches, he said.
Singh’s spokesperson confirmed that he had been detained by customs officials at the airport.