State education minister Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate, who was detained at Mumbai airport last month for carrying foreign currency worth 24 lakh, was fined by Mumbai customs officials this week.
Customs officials have slapped a fine of 5 lakh and an additional personal penalty of 2 lakh on the minister for carrying currency beyond permissible limits.
Additional customs commissioner K Premchand confirmed that Monserrate has been fined.
When contacted on Friday, Monserrate told GoaChronicle.com that he will abide by the law. “Rules are rules, I will be paying the fine imposed by the customs,” the Taleigao MLA said.
The minister was detained last month when he was on his way to Dubai. Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) sleuths had apprehended him and seized the currency. A passenger requires Reserve Bank of India permission to carry currency beyond the permissible limit of $5,000 (approximately 2.24 lakh).
Officials had detained Monserrate on the basis of intelligence inputs and had found lots of foreign currency, mainly euros and some dinars. According to officials, he was apprehended while clearing immigration formalities. An investigation was initiated to ascertain the source of the money.
This was the second high profile person held at any Indian airport in three months for breaching norms and carrying undeclared foreign currency. In February, Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was detained at Delhi for carrying undeclared currency worth 60 lakh.