KOCHI: Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in a joint operation with Customs arrested a senior member of the cabin crew of Spice Jet for smuggling gold worth Rs 1.07 crore at Kochi airport on Friday. The arrested was identified as Manhas Abulaise of Palakkad.
According to DRI officials, the accused was serving as a member of the cabin crew of Spice Jet flight-SG 147 which arrived at Kochi Airport from Ras al Khaimah, UAE, in the afternoon. “The gold in compound form was concealed in the body in five packets. Following a tip-off, our team with the assistance of Customs, could identify and nab the person,” a DRI official said. The gold in compound form weighed 2.55 kg. Following the extraction process, gold weighing 2.2 kg was recovered. The extracted gold is worth Rs 1.07 crore.
“The accused has confessed that he was involved in similar smuggling attempts before. We are questioning him in this regard. He will be produced before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Economic Offences) on Saturday,” an official said.“Drop in the number of flights has affected smugglers. Now they are looking for other ways to smuggle gold to the country. We are probing whether more crew are involved in such smuggling,” a DRI official said.