NEW DELHI: The Jet Airways air hostess arrested while trying to smuggle $3.21 crore hawala money to Hong Kong, had learnt how to get the money past the X-ray machines from the internet and had fooled airport security eight times in last five months.
Devshi Kulshreshtha, 25, successfully transported Forex worth Rs 10 crore and never got caught even when she kept the money in her hand baggage.
According to the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Devshi searched the internet for ‘things X-rays can’t see through’ and got to know that the machines can’t detect things wrapped in aluminium foil.
She began wrapping small bundles of cash in foil as a test and taking it with her. As it remained undetected, she began taking large amounts of Forex. She would put the cash in her bag and cover it with her clothes and makeup kit. Devshi would pass it off as chocolates.
“She had taken out Forex worth Rs 10 crore in eight rounds in the last five months. During the investigation, it was found that the CISF, responsible for airport security, never noticed it, even when she used her hand baggage to transport hawala money,” a DRI official said.
The CISF, that guards 59 airports across the country, said that even if someone wraps anything in foil, it can be seen as a black mass by the machine operator and the actual image can be judged only after manual checking.
“Amit Malhotra, another accused in the case also briefed her on methods to safely take money out of India,” a DRI official said. Both the accused will be produced before a magistrate on Thursday.
Devshi was allegedly paid `1 lakh for every trip, but had recently begun charging a rupee for every dollar. Her husband, who works in a placement agency, would deposit her money in the bank but she had not revealed the source to him. Even though he claimed to be innocent the authorities are looking at his involvement.