For those of you who will be traveling to India soon
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    Default For those of you who will be traveling to India soon

    PLEASE READ THIS INFO ALL THE WAY TO THE END. IT WILL HELP YOU IF YOU ARE GOING TO INDIA.
    IMPORTANT!


    Subject: For those of you who will be traveling to India soon

    Since a lot of you and yours travel to India, PLEASE SHARE this post
    to spread the information so that others may avoid this harassment
    after landing:


    Rajiv and I landed in Mumbai on Oct 3 at 2:40 am. As we were wheeling
    our baggage out we were thinking how good the journey had been so far,
    little did we know that was about to change.

    We were taken aback at the extremely long lines and complete chaos in
    the green channel lines, but putting it down to Indian business as
    usual, we calmly assumed our spot in the line till finally Rajiv
    loaded our luggage for the xray screening in the green channel line.
    They wanted us to open our hand luggage to examine Rajiv's laptop and
    camera and my hand bag to look at the jewelry I was bringing to wear
    at our niece’s wedding. They casually asked "are you carrying any
    rupees?". Rajiv and I both travel to India several times a year (this
    was Rajiv's 5th trip this year) and have our Indian wallets which have
    the rupees left over from the last trip. We leafed through our
    wallets, and said "We think we have about 30 to 40 thousand rupees
    between both of us". We did not know this was an issue, but we were in
    for a rude shock.

    This is the purpose of this write-up:
    Here are some of customs rules in effect since May 2013
    - Women can take in jewelry only worth Rs. 1 lakh (Rs. 100,000 ~ USD
    1600) and men only worth Rs. 50,000. It does not matter if this is
    your own to wear and bring back out of India. If you have an old
    receipt to show it was purchased for very little way back when, then
    take it with you.

    Import of Indian currency is prohibited. If you are not a resident of
    India (whether you have an Indian passport, or if you are a PIO or OCI
    card holder- does not matter) you cannot bring in any rupees. ZERO.
    (However residents of India who are returning from a visit abroad are
    allowed to bring 7,500 rupees each).
    You can bring in 5000 USD cash and 5000 USD in other forms (traveler's
    checks etc.)

    Indian authorities have done little to make these regulations widely
    known to travelers (for example, none of this noted or mentioned in
    the embarkation/disembarkation cards). This leaves us subject to
    harassment and selective enforcement by customs officials

    So Mr. Arora and his supervisor Mr. A. K. Singh said we had to turn in
    the rupees we had. After expressing horror at having our money taken
    away, we realized that since this was the rule, we had no other choice
    but to turn the money in. We asked for a receipt. When we dumped out
    our wallets on their counter 5 feet away and which Mr. Hooda counted,
    there was only Rs. 18,500 in there.

    Mr. Arora and then Mr. A. K. Singh yelled at us and told us we had to
    produce the rest of the money. We pointed out that we had miss
    estimated the amount, that the counter was next to where we had been
    standing and we had emptied out our wallets in front of the customs
    officers. When I offered to empty out my handbag to show him there
    were no additional rupees in there, Mr. A. K. Singh threw us out of
    his office, not wanting to recount or look at our empty wallets and
    ordered another customs lady to search ALL our luggage. We pointed out
    that we had not touched our checked in luggage, which had already been
    screened. Plus Mr. A.K. Singh's office had several cc TV screens
    covering the area where our luggage which could prove that we had not
    tucked any of the rupees away. In any case, they would not listen and
    one by one they opened ALL our luggage- suitcases and hand luggage.
    Another 10,000 Rupees was found in an envelope, which had been a very
    generous and kind gift from a dear cousin- still in the envelope that
    she had given, forgotten in my usual "India hand bag". So now we were
    up to 28,500 Rupees.

    The search left the searcher lady embarrassed, since all she found was
    chocolates, cheese, cookies, and old clothes.

    They would not let us go. They wanted 40,000 Rupees. They insisted.
    They said, do what you want, you have to turn in 40,000 Rupees You
    said you had 40,000. We said we had not counted, we had estimated
    30-40 in front of them, with our wallets open, IN FRONT OF THEM. But
    no one would listen. They said we had to produce the total 40K even if
    we had to convert our dollars. So Rajiv was escorted to the bank
    counter by the lady officer and he converted our dollars at the lousy
    and pathetic airport rate and said OK, here are the rupees, we want an
    official receipt.

    It took an entire slew of Indian customs officers almost 5 hours to
    find ledgers, get signatures and fill forms to produce a receipt for
    us. We left the airport around 8 am long after every other passenger
    who had been detained was gone. Don't know how all the other receipts
    got made so promptly, don't know how the over 1000 passengers who came
    through in that time did not have any thing that kept them detained in
    customs for so long as us, but I do know that there was no India
    Shining moment when we finally emerged.

    We follow the rules. We were willing to give whatever rupees we had,
    since we did not know about this rule that emerged in May, 2013. We
    were not happy about this, but we gave them what we had. They wanted
    more. They made us convert dollars to rupees and took that. Then we
    asked for an official receipt. Which took 5 hours India Shining?
    What, what??

    So why Indians are crying, shouting & protesting for a diplomat who was not honest in US !!!!!!

  2. #2

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    very scaring. really scared to Go to India. Thanks I have circulated this to our senior friends
    Rukmani

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