Jet crew held for smuggling $4.8 lakh

A woman staffer of Jet Airways was arrested on charges of trying to smuggle out $4.80 lakh (approximately Rs 3.21 crore) out of the country while flying to Hong Kong, officials said on Tuesday.

The flight attendant had wrapped the currency in foil and tried to smuggle it out of the country on behalf of one Amit Malhotra, a resident of Vivek Vihar in the national capital, who was also arrested.

The crew was intercepted by Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials when she was on a flight to Hong Kong on Monday. The DRI officials found $4,80,200 wrapped in foil in her possession, an official statement said.

DRI officials are investigating the role of some other Jet Airways crew in the racket.

According to officials, Malhotra was using crew members for smuggling of foreign currency.

"Malhotra would collect money from bullion dealers in Delhi and send it via some airline crew to select foreign destinations. The money was being used for purchasing gold abroad. The gold would then be sent to India illegally," they said.

He had befriended the Jet Airways crew six-seven months ago during a flight to India. Investigators claim that Malhotra has been smuggling forex for the past over one year while a probe is also on to find out the bullion dealers involved in the racket.

Jet Airways said in a statement, "during an inspection by DRI team, a large sum of foreign currency was recovered from an employee of the airline.The employee has been taken into custody. Based on the investigations and inputs from law enforcement agencies, the airline will take further action."

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