Air India Express cabin crew member held with 960g gold at Kannur airport

According to DRI sources, investigation suggested that Surabhi may have been involved in multiple instances of gold smuggling in the past.
Surabhi Khatun
Surabhi Khatun(Photo | Special Arrangement)

KOCHI: A cabin crew member of Air India Express was apprehended by officials of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) at the Kannur airport for smuggling gold on Tuesday.

Acting on specific intelligence regarding the smuggling of gold facilitated by cabin crew on Air India Express flight IX 714 inbound from Muscat, DRI officials intercepted the crew member upon her arrival at the airport.

During a search, Surabhi Khatun, a native of Kolkata, was found in possession of 960g of gold in compound form concealed inside her body. After interrogation, the 26-year-old was presented before a judicial magistrate and subsequently remanded in judicial custody.

According to DRI sources, the investigation suggested that Surabhi may have been involved in multiple instances of gold smuggling in the past. Efforts are underway to identify her accomplices and unearth the gold smuggling network associated with the operation. DRI intends to petition the court for custody of the cabin crew member to facilitate further questioning as part of their comprehensive probe into the matter.

According a DRI source, Surabhi has revealed names of certain persons who hired her for the smuggling activities. She was given commission for each successful gold smuggling attempts, the source said.

More cabin crew members interrogated over suspicion

DRI is also looking into whether more cabin crew members were involved in smuggling activities. Following Surabhi’s arrest, DRI officials questioned more cabin crew members on suspicion of their links with gold smuggling rackets based in Kerala.

It is learnt that the interrogation has reportedly revealed details about the involvement of more crew members in smuggling, and more arrests are likely in the coming days. Earlier, Customs Preventive Commissionerate in Kerala had arrested a cabin crew member of Air India Express for smuggling 1.45 kg of gold in March last year at Kochi airport.

The arrested was Shafi of Wayanad who worked on the flight operated on the Bahrain-Kozhikode-Kochi route.

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