Thursday, March 11, 2021

Airport cargo staffer helps gold smugglers, arrested

Bengaluru: In a shocking turn of events, the staffer of a cargo handling unit at the Kempegowda International Airport was caught red-handed on Wednesday morning, abetting a woman flyer from Dubai in smuggling gold. Women staffers of the Air Intelligence Unit of Airport Customs had to don burqas and hang around in the ladies restroom to intercept the suspects and foil their smuggling bid.

The gold smuggled in a plastic sheet weighed 1 kg, while the final quantity after extraction was 880 grams. The 22-year-old staffer is an employee of AISATS, a joint venture between Air India Limited and SATS Limited, a gateway service provider for Asia, said a top Customs official.  

According to the official, the team was tipped off about gold being smuggled by a passenger on an arriving Emirates flight. “When the specific flight, EK 564, arrived, we monitored the passengers closely. When conducting checks at the immigration area, our staffers found a couple repeatedly visiting toilets nearby,” the official explained.   

Two Customs staffers donned burqas and entered the ladies toilet. “Our team was waiting around when they found the staffer of a cargo handling company enter a cubicle next to the one that the suspected woman smuggler had entered. In the open space beneath the two cubicles, the flyer passed on a plastic sheet containing gold in paste form to the staffer. They understood this to be the exchange of gold,” the official explained.

11/03/21 New Indian Express

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