Actress Anushka Sharma was detained by the customs officials at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai, on June 27 for carrying undeclared gold and diamond studded jewellery and other valuables worth between Rs. 20 to Rs. 40 lakh. The actress claimed that the valuables were brought to Toronto for the recently concluded IIFA Awards but she should have declared them in India before she left for the event.
It may be recalled that Minissha Lamba was questioned by the customs officials last month for carrying undeclared assets worth Rs.50 lakh. She was however let off after a particular jewellery company produced documents proving that the actress borrowed the ornaments from the company for the Cannes Film Festival.
Bipasha Basu was also detained by the customs officials last month for carrying undeclared assets worth Rs. 65, 000. She ended up paying Rs.12, 000 for the personal goods she carried.
These celebrities may have come up with different reasons for carrying so much of valuables abroad but there is no excuse for troubling the customs officials. The question is - if people who frequently travel abroad don"t know the rule book, who will know? These public figures certainly need a lesson or two on civic scenes. They should create awareness among the public on customs duty rather than setting bad examples.
Bollywood celebrities travel widely across the globe for shooting their films, and so, they must be aware of the rules of the airport customs officials. But they commit blunder and unnecessarily trouble the airport authorities. Within two months, three celebrities namely, Minissha Lamba, Bipasha Basu and Anushka Sharma were detained on charges of trying to evade customs duty, thus raising the question if they are too careless while travelling abroad.