Smuggling: An Indian national was detained at Paro international airport after attempting to carry a large quantity of duty free alcohol beverages out of the country on Monday. This was the first such incident reported at the airport.

While the revenue and customs director refused to comment or approve responses, according to one unconfirmed report the Indian national was trying to take up to 17 cases of Jack Daniels whisky (between 102-104 bottles) out of the country.

The Indian national had reportedly purchased alcohol at the duty free shop at the airport, it is not known if the entire quantity of alcohol was purchased there.

According to a source, the duty free shop will not sell alcohol beyond the permissible limit to departing passengers. However, the source said that multiple passports may have been used.

It is also not known how the Indian national was able to bring such a large quantity of alcohol to the check in counter bypassing the first security checkpoint.

It has been learned that while the Indian national was negotiating the amount to be paid with airline officials for having more than 20kgs of baggage, customs officers approached and took the baggage to be x-rayed. Upon x-raying, the alcohol was detected.

It has also been learned that there is a USD 800 or a two litre ceiling for duty free alcohol that can be taken out of the country. However, Bhutanese nationals, upon request can take up to six bottles of alcohol as gifts. The alcohol also has to be manufactured locally.

According to unconfirmed reports, this may not have been the first time the Indian national had taken out such a large quantity of alcohol raising questions on how it could have occurred.

The Indian national was on a Paro to Delhi, via Kathmandu flight.

The incident is under investigation.

Gyalsten K Dorji