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Spurt in gold smuggling by airline crew

DELHI

A spurt in the involvement of airline staffers in cross-border smuggling of gold has the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence concerned.

The agency has asked all stakeholders at airports across the country to exercise due diligence in checking such practices, reports The Hindu.

The latest arrest was of a Jet Airways steward, who allegedly tried to smuggle out U.S. dollars worth Rs.2.6 crore to Hong Kong on board a flight from Mumbai, to buy gold for sale in India. According to sources, gold purchased abroad could fetch a minimum profit of Rs.2 lakh per kg, even when travel expenses are taken into account.

In May last year, the agency had arrested two flight crew members of Virgin Atlantic at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi for allegedly carrying 6 kg of gold. Last July, a Jet Airways flight attendant was arrested with 3 kg of gold at the same airport.

Similar cases have been reported at the international airports in Chennai, Tuticorin and Bangalore, where ground staff of airlines such as Spice Jet and Air India were allegedly found involved.

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