Gold smuggling: Air India cabin crew wraps 'paste' around arm under uniform shirt, caught at Kochi airport - WATCH
The arrested Air India employee was identified as Shafi -- a native of Kerala's Wayanad district. He is being interrogated further. While it is the second such instance in 2023 alone, three such busts were reported at the CIAL since 2021.
Updated Mar 9, 2023 | 12:04 PM IST
Air India staffer held for gold smuggling at the Kochi airport.
Photo : Mirror Now Bureau
An Air India staffer
was arrested by the Customs Department at the Kochi airport
) for allegedly trying to smuggle gold. The cabin crew member was caught with almost 1.5 kilograms -- 1,487 grams to be exact-- of gold paste rolled around his arm under the full-sleeve shirt. Incidentally, this is the second time this year that a staffer of the airline got caught while attempting to smuggle gold through the green channel.
The arrested Air India employee was identified as Shafi -- a native of Kerala's Wayanad district. He is being interrogated further, the officials said.
The Customs Preventive Commissionerate had received confidential information that a cabin crew member of the Bahrain-Kozhikode-Kochi service, was bringing gold. The Customs officials, along with the local police, interrogated Shafi after his behaviour raised suspicion, Times Network's Vivek reported. It was during the search that followed when the gold paste was found on Shafi.
While it is the second such instance in 2023 alone, three such busts were reported at the CIAL since 2021. Four employees of Air India, all contract staff, were taken into custody by the Customs earlier for committing the same offence -- exposing the nexus between airline staffers and foreign gold smuggling
Meanwhile, two passengers, who arrived from Singapore, were arrested at Chennai airport on Wednesday for carrying gold weighing 6.8 kg valued at Rs 3.32 crores, Chennai customs told news agency ANI.
According to officials, the passengers arrived in Chennai from Singapore by AI-347 and 6E-52.
Chennai Customs in a tweet said, "Based on Intel, 2 pax who arrived from Singapore by AI-347 and 6E-52 were intercepted by Customs on 07.03.23. On search of their baggage, gold totally weighing 6.8 kg valued at Rs 3.32 crore was recovered/ seized under the CA,1962. Pax were arrested and further investigation is on."