After news of his newly bought expensive watches seized at Mumbai airport spread like wildfire, Hardik Pandya issued a clarification saying that the watches were of Rs. 1.5 crores and not Rs. 5 crores. Earlier on Tuesday morning ANI shared a report claiming two expensive watches worth Rs. 5 crores were seized from Hardik Pandya after the all-rounder came back to India from UAE. ANI also claimed that the watches were seized as Pandya couldn’t produce bills of the watches.

However, a few hours later, Hardik Pandya issued a statement dismissing the claims made by ANI. Taking to Twitter, Pandya claimed that as a law-abiding citizen of the country, he volunteered to pay the customs duty at the airport.

This is the second time the all-rounder is making the news. Earlier, Pandya was alleged to have molested the wife of Dawood Ibrahim’s aid’s wife. No further developments were revealed later.

Background

Hefty salaries, glamorous life, traveling around the world, and endorsing products – these are just some of the perks of making it big in the world of cricket. Granted that not every cricket player reaches to those heights, in India, every school boy wants to make it for all the above reasons.

Amid all these perks, cricketers at times are bowled out and stumped by the tax laws. In the past cricketers have been in the news for getting into tax disputes.

Back in 2020, Indian batter Krunal Pandya was detained at the Mumbai Airport by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) after he was found carrying valuable watches and gold of undisclosed amount.

A year later, its Krunal’s brother Hardik that is making the news for a similar incident.


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The Facts of the Matter

As he tries to push away the ghosts of his lukewarm performance at the recently concluded ICC T20 World Cup, Hardik Pandya landed in a different kind of soup. According to reports, the Mumbai Indians all-rounder had to pay hefty taxes after the Customs Department seized two wrist watches he had bought from Dubai.

According to an ANI report, Hardik Pandya couldn’t furnish the bill for the watches he got and hence, his watches were seized. Further, the ANI report also claimed that the watches bought were worth Rs. 5 crores. However, a few hours later, Pandya himself took to Twitter and refuted the claims.


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Pandya Rejects Allegations, Claims Declared Items “Voluntarily”

In his statement issued on Tuesday morning, Pandya claimed that as a law-abiding citizen, he decided to “declare” all the items he bought voluntarily. “I voluntarily went to Mumbai airport customs counter to declare the items brought by me and pay the requisite customs duty. Wrong perceptions have been floating around on social media regarding my declaration to customs at Mumbai airport, and I would like to clarify about what transpired,” Pandya’s statement read.

“Cost of Watch Rs. 1.5 Crore Not Rs. 5 Crores”

“I had voluntarily declared all the items that I’d lawfully purchased from Dubai and was ready to pay whatever duties that need to be paid. As a matter of fact, the customs department had asked for all purchase documents which were submitted; however, the customs is doing proper valuation for duty which I’ve already confirmed to pay. The cost of the watch is approximately Rs 1.5 crore and not Rs 5 crores as per rumours floating around in social media,” he further clarified.


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Krunal Pandya Was Detained By DRI Too in 2020

It should be noted that this is not the first time one of the Pandya brothers faced the heat of the authorities. Back in 2020, after playing the IPL in UAE and returning back, Krunal Pandya was detained by the Directorate Revenue Intelligence. Reportedly, Krunal was carrying valuable watches and gold worth undisclosed amount.

The batter was later released after he assured to pay the fines he faced and further apologized to the DRI and claimed that he was not aware of the laws and rules.