Indian cabin crew arrested for smuggling 1.5kg of gold paste taped to his sleeves

The customs department arrested two passengers from Chennai airport with 70 gold bars.

Chennai Customs officials arrested two passengers travelling from Singapore with 68 bars of gold weighing a total of 6.8kg. photo: Chennai Customs
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Indian police have arrested an airline steward suspected of smuggling gold weighing nearly 1.5kg taped to his arms.

The Customs Preventive Commissionerate arrested Shafi, who goes only by his first name, a cabin crew member with Air India Express, at Kochi airport in southern Kerala on Wednesday.

Mr Shafi was accused of smuggling gold paste worth 7.5 million rupees ($91,000) wrapped around the hands and hidden under the sleeve of his shirt while he was on the Bahrain-Kozhikode-Kochi service.

He was arrested after the customs officials were tipped off about the gold as he tried to pass through the green channel.

Air India in a statement confirmed that a crew member was being questioned over the alleged smuggling.

“A member of the crew on an Air India Express flight IX 474 has been taken into custody following an incident involving smuggling. The said individual has been placed on suspension with immediate effect,” Air India said in a statement.

Pictures shared on social media showed the gold paste taped to Mr Shafi’s wrists.

Meanwhile, the customs department arrested two passengers from Chennai airport with 68 gold bars weighing 6.8kg and worth 33 million rupees ($400,000), Chennai customs said.

According to officials, the passengers arrived in the city in southern Tamil Nadu from Singapore on an Air India flight, where they were arrested. The investigation is ongoing.

Updated: March 09, 2023, 8:09 AM