• Bribe Fighter
  • 12 years ago

Fought hard with Mumbai airport customs and not paid bribe for importing 40" LED TV from Bangkok for personal use

Reported on January 28, 2013 from Mumbai , Maharashtra  ι Report #31048

I had read stories about how customs officials at Mumbai international airport take money (read bribe) to clear passengers when they buy LCD or LED from countries like Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok etc. As per customs rule: 1) there is no customs duty for imports upto 35,000 per passenger 2) the import value is calculated on the value of sales invoice. However, the customs officials refuse to agree and instead argue that the value of product is as per price in India. They also refuse to show any rule book and instead ask passengers to show proof of their argument. This is really frustrating for passengers and they end up paying anywhere above Rs. 2000 for each TV. I was prepared to face similar situation at Mumbai airport when I arrived from Bangkok. I had decided not to bribe a single paise come what may. When me and my wife collected the luggage, a customs official saw us carrying the TV and asked us to stand in a different queue. When we stood at the counter, we saw the customs officer (Mr.**********) asking for Rs. 2000 bribe for another person who had imported a toy. The customs officer negotiated with that person and threatened to seize the toy. When we argued that he should be hurrying up, the officer said we need to pay customs duty on the 40" LED TV purchased from Bangkok. I argued that as per rules, there is no duty payable as the invoice value is only Rs. 29,000. We showed the copy of invoice as proof and confirmed that the TV is for personal use. However, the tone of officer suggested that we should pay him if we need to clear ourselves from customs check. We were shocked to see that none of the policemen around came to intervene even though we were literally shouting at customs officer for asking bribe in an indirect manner. On hearing this, other customs officials approached us and showed as if they are helping us. They took us in a corner and asked for Rs. 2000 but we insisted that there is no money payable as per customs rule. After lot of fighting, the customs officer got scared because by then a lot of people had gathered near the counter with their TV. The officer decided to leave us finally because otherwise other passengers would have joined us fighting with customs at airport. I strongly insist that no one should pay any bribe to customs officer at the airport even though it means either harassment or paying extra money (subject to receipt of that payment). If we all fight together, we can teach these morons a lesson.

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