Hardik Pandya
Indian allrounder Hardik Pandya has refuted allegations of carrying two luxury watches without valid documents at the Mumbai airport. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: The Pandya brothers of Indian cricket seem to have a knack of making news for the wrong reasons. After elder brother Krunal, who was detained at the Mumbai airport on his return from UAE after the Indian Premier League last year for carrying ‘undisclosed gold and other valuables,’ Hardik was stopped early on Monday for carrying two luxury watches reportedly worth 50 million INR (Dh 2.5 million).

Hardik, who returned to Mumbai after the team’s early exit from the just-concluded T20 World Cup, took to social media to say that he voluntarily went to Mumbai airport customs counter to declare the items brought by him and pay the requisite customs duty.

In a statement, Hardik said the cost of the watches are approximately 15 million, and not 50 million (as reported in a section of the media) and all purchase documents were submitted to the customs department. “Early on Monday morning, 15th November, on my arrival from Dubai, after picking up my luggage, I voluntarily went to Mumbai airport customs counter to declare the items brought by me and pay the requisite customs duty,” he said.

“I had voluntarily declared all the items that I’d lawfully purchased from Dubai and was ready to pay whatever duties that needed to be paid. As a matter of fact, the customs department had asked for all purchase documents which were submitted; however customs is doing proper valuation for duty which I’ve already confirmed to pay,” Pandya added.

“I’m a law-abiding citizen of the country and I respect all government agencies,” he said.

The cricketer also said that he has received all the cooperation from the Mumbai customs department and he has assured his full cooperation to them and will provide them with whatever legitimate documents they need to get the matter cleared. “All allegations against me of crossing any legal boundaries are totally unfounded,” Pandya said.

Last year, Mumbai Indians allrounder Krunal was detained at the Mumbai airport upon his arrival from UAE after the conclusion of IPL 2020. The elder of the Pandya brothers was stopped at the airport on the suspicion of carrying undisclosed gold jewellery and other such items.