A cabin crew member of Air India Express was caught by Customs officials at Cochin International Airport in Kochi in a huge gold smuggling bust. Shafi Sharaf, the crew member, was allegedly smuggling about 1.4 kg of gold from Bahrain on Flight IX 474 to Kozhikode and Kochi.
Shafi Sharaf, had wrapped the gold paste around his forearms, which were hidden behind his full-sleeved shirt. Customs agents were alerted to the smuggling attempt and detained the crew member on Wednesday.
Air India Express has denounced the incident and has suspended the arrested crew member with immediate effect. After receipt of the investigation authorities’ report, the airline indicated that it has zero tolerance for such behaviour and will take serious action against the individual, including termination of service.
In a second incident, Customs authorities found gold bars worth Rs 3.32 crore at Cochin International Airport and detained two people, one of whom was a Sri Lankan national. The two travellers arrived in Singapore on Tuesday, and Customs agents detained them based on specific information. During the inspection, officials discovered 68 gold bars weighing 6.8 kilogrammes stashed in their luggage.M.
“An inquiry was ongoing and that the accused couple was in jail. Gold smuggling at airports has become a major source of concern for authorities, with several examples reported in recent months.”Mathew Jolly of the Customs Commissionerate
Four individuals, including two Air India contract workers, were arrested on suspicion of gold smuggling in January at Nedumbassery. A flight attendant was arrested at Calicut International Airport last year with 1.25 kg of gold tucked in her shoes. In 2021, an Air India Express air hostess was apprehended at Karipur during another smuggling attempt.
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