Spicejet Loader Arrested in Chennai for Role in Gold Smuggling Racket

Immanuel, a loader with ground clearance to work near and inside the aircraft, was on duty when flight SG 2 arrived from Colombo at 4.40 am on Tuesday.

Published: 16th June 2015 04:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th June 2015 04:43 PM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: In a stroke of luck, Customs officials at the Chennai Airport found an important link in a gold smuggling racket after a Spicejet contracted employee was caught by airport security carrying 1.6 kg of gold bars. Airport police related how Immanuel, a loader with ground clearance to work near and inside the aircraft, was on duty when flight SG 2 arrived from Colombo at 4.40 am on Tuesday.

This is where their luck really kicked in. A little after 5 am, when Immanuel attempted to leave the airport with his usual work bag, CISF staff asked to check his belongings. Despite the regulation that all airport staff have to undergo mandatory checks when entering and exiting the terminal, security guards have been known to cut regulars some slack.

"When they dipped into his bag they found that he had a concealed packet inside which contained gold bars with foreign markings. They immediately handed him over to the customs officers on duty," said the source. Immanuel was cleared and employed by a firm called Aeroglobal, which is contracted by Spicejet to handle a few tarmac operations.

What followed was a marathon interrogation session that took most of Tuesday, before he was formally charged with the felony. Though customs officials have declined to reveal the results of this interrogation, other airport sources have confirmed that he was an end-stage courier, who had done this operation before. "For a small cut, he would retrieve the gold from designated places on the plane and smuggle it out through the staff entrance and hand it over to the gang's point person at a place near the airport. Investigations are on to nab the entire gang," said the source.

This is not the first time that airport employees have been caught with their finger in the contraband pie. Over the last 3 years alone at least 8 incidents of 'inside jobs' have been detected - almost all of them to do with the smuggling of gold or drugs like ephedrine and metaphetamine.


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