An employee of one of India’s leading airline companies,Jet Airways, was caught smuggling gold early on Thursday morning.
The accused employee, Deepak Indramani Pandey, is a crew member with the group and is now the second employee from the airline who has been caught smuggling gold.
When interrogated, Deepak allegedly said that he got involved in the illegal activity in order to pay his EMIs for a house he recently purchased in Dombivali area of Mumbai and claimed this was the first time ever in his employment that he resorted to such means.
Deepak, who is 24, hails from Varanasi. He was caught at the Mumbai airport while he was about to clear gold for a passenger who had approached him when the flight was airborne.
Pandey was caught by the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai Customs and was seized with 10 gold bars of 10 tolas each. The Gold bars weigh 1160 grams in total and are valued at Rs.27,92,230.
Pandey was part of the six member crew that arrived from Dubai by Jet Airways 9W 543 that landed in Mumbai at 2.15am.
When AIU caught Pandey with the yellow metal and interrogated him about it, he revealed he was approached by a passenger during mid-flight and was offered the deal and cash after he had cleared the gold from the authorities in Mumbai. The passenger is yet to be traced.
Pandey had left the gold on the sofa outside the superintendent’s room while he was asked to come inside for personal search by officers, but the gold was discovered by a sepoy and the CCTV footage revealed that Deepak was the one who had dropped the gold.
He was the asked to return to the airport where they confronted him with the gold bar and the footage.
A Jet Airways spokesperson later said:
“The matter is under investigation and Jet Airways is fully cooperating with the investigation agencies. Jet Airways has zero tolerance towards any action of its employees that contravenes local or international laws prevalent in the countries of its operations. We take immediate disciplinary actions as per company policy after due investigation.”