Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Minissha detained for undeclared diamonds

Bollywood actress Minissha Lamba was detained by customs officials at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport today for not declaring diamond jewellery she was allegedly carrying in her luggage.

Lamba, who had gone to France for the Cannes Film Festival, had just returned by an Emirates flight from Nice airport.

After the flight landed around 8.30 this morning, Lamba was intercepted by customs officials while crossing the green channel, meant for passengers who have nothing to declare.

While customs sources said an external evaluator had been called in, unconfirmed reports said the jewellery could be worth over Rs 50 lakh.

The customs sources said Lamba, during questioning, claimed that she had taken the jewellery with her from Mumbai itself to wear at Cannes and had not declared it as she did not know the rules. The actress was still being questioned till late in the evening.

Lamba, who was seen on the red carpet at the 64th Cannes Film Festival attending the premiere of Woody Allen’s film Midnight in Paris, had earlier tweeted that her “baggage… has been stolen” at Nice airport.

“Disaster has struck,” she had tweeted on May 17. “A baggage of mine has been stolen at Nice airport… Standing at the Emirates counter for one hour. Even with two CCTV camera’s right over the baggage, police or airline still won’t confirm if it was ‘stolen’ or ‘misplaced’.”

The actress, who has acted in Shyam Benegal’s Well Done Abba, Madhur Bhandarkar’s Corporate and other films like Kidnap and Bachna Ae Haseeno, was at the Cannes Film Festival for the first time. She wore a gown by fashion designers Gauri and Nainika Karan for the screening of Allen’s film.

Customs officials said if any jewellery of high value is not disclosed, the person can face arrest or be penalised.

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