Delhi woman held in Bangalore for smuggling computer chips

Bangalore, Jan 6 (IANS) Customs sleuths arrested a Delhi-based woman for attempting to smuggle in about 31,500 computer chips (memory cards) valued at Rs.63 lakh into the country from Hong Kong, a senior official said Friday.

‘The accused, Rosy Bhatia, 40, was trapped soon after she landed early Thursday by a Dragon Airways flight from Hong Kong, with the chips concealed in stockings around her thighs,’ the official said.

Bhatia was arrested for the offence under section 108 of the Customs Act, 1962.

‘Though a local court has released Bhatia on conditional bail, she has been directed to report to the air intelligence unit for investigations when summoned,’ the official said.

On a tip-off from their Delhi counterparts, the sleuths confronted Bhatia after she passed through the green channel without disclosing the chips she was carrying on her body or their value in the customs declaration slip.

‘When Bhatia said she had no goods to declare, we asked our women staff to conduct a body check, which led to detection of small polythene bags hidden in stockings beneath her salwar-kamiz suit,’ the official said.

Bhatia was about to board a morning flight to Delhi with the chips that are used in the motherboards of computers and other electronic goods.

‘We detained Bhatia before she proceeded to the domestic departure terminal to catch the Delhi flight as she would have hidden the chips in the baggage later before boarding the aircraft,’ the official added.

Though this is the first time Bhatia chose to fly into the country through Bangalore, stampings in her passport revealed that she had been to Hong Kong about 10 times during the last six months from different destinations.

‘There have been instances of people, including women, being used for smuggling in various electronic goods in a clandestine manner to avoid detection and evade customs duty of 30 percent on high value products in large scale,’ the official added.