Diamond merchant caught smuggling gems in her underwear
Diamonds are forever, and while flying in from overseas, they are for customs records
But a businesswoman failed to keep that last fact in mind. She chose to go through the green channel without declaring the jewels, choosing instead to hide them away in her luggage and her underclothes.
A 34-year-old managing director of a Singapore-based diamond trading firm was caught on Tuesday night at the city’s international airport for passing through the green channel without declaring her goods to the customs and the airport vigilance authorities.
In a joint operation by Directorate of Vigilance and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, officials intercepted the accused, Vihari Sheth, after she arrived at the Mumbai international airport around 10 pm via Singapore Airlines flight number 426.
According to airport officials, the accused was slyly trying to pass through the green channel, raising their suspicion. When the airport officials checked her baggage, they found diamonds and jewellery worth Rs 2.5 crore. After investigations, the officials learnt that Sheth has an office in Santacruz. They then carried out a search operation at her office, where they seized more diamonds and jewellery worth Rs 4 crore.
An official from the airport said that she had tried hiding some of the gems in the folds of the clothes she was wearing. After they frisked her, they found jewellery hidden inside her underclothes.
According to customs regulations, international air passengers entering the country have to pass through the red channel at the airport if they are carrying goods worth above the permitted customs limits. Fliers who have nothing to declare pass through the green channel.
But if someone is caught for passing through the green channel while possessing goods of the value above the specified limit, they are liable to be prosecuted for making a false declaration.