Monday, October 21, 2013

Two Air India cabin crew arrested for smuggling sandalwood

Two Air India cabin crew members were arrested from the IGI International Airport late last night on Sunday after they found smuggling 45 kgs of sandalwood.

The Air India flight 315 was bound for Hong Kong.

Airport officials maintains that the smuggle was concealed in the suitcases.

When the customs apprehended the crew they were not able to give any explanations.

The arrested duo, Milind Davanae and Nibhim Korah, have been suspended by the Air India management.

Custom officials speaking exclusively to Headlines Today maintained that the duo was caught red-handed and that during interrogation had maintained that the delayed salary over the years was the reason why they were forced to resort to such illegal means of earning money.

The crew members Milind and Nibhim would soon be produced in the court.

In a revelation the custom officials maintained that they suspect a big nexus of the sandalwood smugglers and the crew members of other airlines as well.

Adding that Delhi and Mumbai International airports have become the smuggling hubs of the country, the officials said that many slip-ups have happened in the past as well.

Not just the crew but the pilots of leading airlines have been involved in the business.

Officials say that the airline crew serves as a vital link in the entire chain with the real dealers sitting within the country and outside.

Reacting to this development, Air India management said, "We have taken note of this. Air India will seriously look into the matter and will soon come out with the findings."

The official on condition of anonymity maintained that the slip-ups have happened in the past owing to the leniency showed by the security staff.

"The trust factor was the main reason for not having the crew and pilots go through the rigorous baggage checks," the officer added that in the past each airline had a baggage checking machine outside when the staff was often hand in glove with the crew.

However, today the system has changed and the custom officials having realised the illegal activities that go inside the airports deploy the personnel and check the baggage of crew as well.

The interrogation of the arrested duo will perhaps lead the police to the culprits within the country and help understand how the entire operation is conducted.


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