Air India Express Cabin Crew Arrested for Gold Smuggling at Kannur Airport

    On May 28, the DRI arrested a 26-year-old Air India Express crew member, Surabhi Khatun from Kolkata, for smuggling nearly 1 kg of gold hidden in her rectum.

    This incident occurred on the 28th of May when the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) arrested a 26-year-old Air India Express cabin crew for gold smuggling from Kannur airport. This lady was also found to be from Kolkata and her name was Surabhi Khatun, the crew member was apprehended for attempting to conceal nearly 1 kilogram of gold in her rectum. Since when this act was committed, an investigation is underway to identify other suspects that are involved.

    Unprecedented'; Air India female crew member apprehended for smuggling gold through rectum - KERALA - GENERAL | Kerala Kaumudi Online

    Tip-Off Leads to Arrest

    The DRI arrested one Sachin Kumar at Thiruvananthapuram Airport on a tip-off on smuggling activities on Board Air India Express flight IX 714 originating from Muscat and destined for Kannur. I Adrian Karakat officials confined Khatun immediately after the flight landed conducted a search and found 960 grams of gold in compound form concealed in her anus. This particular interception illustrates the attention the DRI has placed on combating gold smuggling through air travel which continues to be a concern.

    Investigation and Suspicions

    There is evidence indicating that Surabhi Khatun has participated in several smuggling attempts. DRI sources revealed that she provided the names of at least several people she claimed used her for such services. As a result, the flow of investigation shifted towards the broader organizational framework of smuggling operation, in an attempt to eliminate it.

    Previous Incidents of Smuggling

    Temptation is not a new phenomenon for the Air India Express with the previous incidents reported previously. In March 2023, another cabin crew member by the name of Shafi Sharaf was arrested for smuggling more than one kilogram. The smuggled gold was estimated to have a weight of 4 kilograms and was transported through Cochin International Airport. To avoid getting caught this time, Sharaf had camouflaged himself with sundry gold in paste form tucked neatly in black plastic bands around his stylish sleeves. These circumstances show that there has been a precedent of constant mishaps within different aspects of airline operations, which therefore requires better preventive and precautionary measures.

    Gold Smuggling Tactics

    The tactics deployed by smugglers are not ordinary they have come up with different and complex means of transporting the consignment. In order to smuggle gold, individuals put the gold in rectal cavities or reform the gold into paste form that is difficult for security checkpoints to detect. Such tactics have very serious implications for the owners of smuggled goods and substances since they endanger the lives of the smugglers while posing great difficulties for security forces responsible for guarding the airports.

    The Broader Impact

    Smuggling of gold as an intermediate good is a highly illegal and lucrative business in many countries, a problem that affects legal trade as well as the economy. Due to the high demand of the said metal and steep import taxes, smugglers are only too keen on trying to get gold into the country in any kind of way possible. This suggests that this illicit trade not only concerns issues of revenue but also some national security, seeing that such money can be used for other unlawful deeds.

    Stricter Measures and Awareness

    Such acts of brutality therefore call for greater security camouflage, especially at the airports. First, it can be noted that with a higher level of smuggling risk, comes a higher level of security and control, as well as more stringent screening procedures and better technologies can help identify attempts at smuggling. Also, airline companies should periodically check their employees and conduct security training for them to raise awareness about how to recognize cases of suspicious activity.

    Female cabin crew member held for smuggling gold in rectum at Kannur airport - Hindustan Times

    Just recently, Surabhi Khatun has been arrested for smuggling gold while crossing Kannur airport and this highlights that the problem of stopping illegitimate gold transport through flights is still a concern today. From the actions of the DRI and the carried-out investigation, it is ascertained that only regular attention and strict anti-smuggling measures can prevent the infiltration of smuggled cigarettes.

    To date, the action of the authorities to apprehend perpetrators responsible for perpetuating such illegitimate actions should not only focus on the eradication of the source behind the scheme but should also work towards developing strategies that will prevent the occurrence of similar activities in the future that may disrupt the economy and security of the country.



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