Airline staff arrested for aiding gold smugglers
MUMBAI, India - A nexus between airline employees and gold smugglers has come to the fore with the arrest of two Jet Airways staffers and an Air India employee in two separate cases in the last 48 hou
MUMBAI, India – A nexus between airline employees and gold smugglers has come to the fore with the arrest of two Jet Airways staffers and an Air India employee in two separate cases in the last 48 hours. Two of the three airline staffers were caught red-handed trying to help smugglers sneak gold out of the airport.
Airline staff who work at the airport are not subjected to security screening when they leave the premises and this loophole was exploited in both cases. In the first case on Sunday, Customs officials intercepted Muhammed Abdul Rahiman who had arrived from Dubai. He had brought with him 5 gold bars, each weighing 1 kg. The total value was Rs 1.27 crore. The Customs Air Intelligence Unit had information that an Air India staffer would aid the said flyer to smuggle the gold. “He realized he was being followed and fled the scene,” said a Customs official. The AI staffer, Ramesh Bansode, was later picked up from his home. He admitted helping smugglers clear a 1 kg gold in the past. Both the airline employee and the flyer, have been remanded in judicial custody.
In the second case, which took place on Monday, a passenger—Mohammed Kunnil Abbas, who came from Dubai was found to be carrying three gold bars, each weighing 1 kg and valued at Rs 76.4 lakh. “We had information that the smuggler would hand over the gold to a Jet Airways employee. We caught them red-handed,” said the official. The Jet Airways staffer, Hamed Lateef Mohammed, was arrested and named another Jet staffer, Puritan Singh, who was also arrested later. The trio was granted bail.