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Russian Faces Prison Over Undeclared $1.8M Watch

The diamond-encrusted watch

A Russian tourist may face up to two years in prison for not declaring a $1.8 million watch he brought to Moscow from New York, the Federal Customs Service said Monday.

As the man attempted to pass through customs at Domodedovo Airport via the green channel, for “no goods to declare,” he was stopped and his luggage was searched.

Inside a “handbag,” officials uncovered a Jacob & Co. diamond-encrusted Rainbow Tourbillon gold watch, with an estimated value of 54.5 million rubles, far exceeding the 10,000 euro limit for an undeclared good, the customs service said in a statement.

The man, whose identity has not been disclosed, told officials that the watch was a present from friends in America and he was unaware of its value.

Upon arrival, the passenger should have paid 30 percent of the watch’s value, 16.35 million rubles, according to customs regulations.

The customs service is considering a criminal case against the man. If charged and convicted, the man faces a minimum 100,000 ruble fine or up to two years behind bars.

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