Jet Airways crew member arrested with over Rs 3 cr worth USD

A Jet Airways crew member was caught carrying US currency worth over Rs 3 crores in her hand luggage. The notes, neatly wrapped in aluminum foil, were seized from the employee on Monday from a Hong Kong bound flight.

"US Dollars valued at Rs 3.21 crore recovered from a lady crew member of a Hong Kong bound Jet Airways flight last night at Indira Gandhi International airport," said the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in a statement.

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During interrogation, it came to light that the woman was part of a major international hawala syndicate and has carried foreign currencies several times for a Delhi-based hawala operator, who was also arrested from here, it said. The employee was identified as Deveshi Kulshrestha and the alleged hawala operator as Amit Malhotra, a resident of Vivek Vihar area in Delhi, a senior DRI official told PTI. He added that Malhotra used crew members for smuggling foreign currency.

The official claimed that Malhotra collected money from few bullion dealers in the capital and sent it to select foreign destinations using flight attendants. The money was being used for buying gold overseas and later sending it to India illegally, the official said. Both Kulshrestha and Malhotra were produced before a designated court and remanded to two days of judicial custody. They will be produced before a Metropolitan Magistrate on January 11.

Jet Airways too has released a statement saying, "During an inspection by a DRI team, a large sum of foreign currency was recovered from an employee of the airline. The employee has been taken into custody." "Based on the investigations and inputs from law enforcement agencies, the airline will take further action," the statement added.