An Air India crew member was arrested on Thursday while he was trying to clear 6.8 kg of smuggled gold, worth R1.5 crore, from the international airport. Sidhesh Patil had arrived from Muscat in flight AI 986 at around 5.35 am, and was waiting for the smuggler, a passenger from another airline, near the T2 arrivals.
The passenger, Piyush Jasraj Soni, was flying by Oman Air’s WY 201 from Muscat, which landed around the same time as Patil’s. After arriving at the airport, Soni handed over the gold to Patil to get it cleared out of the airport premises. Acting on a tip-off, a team from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) intercepted the duo.
The gold, concealed in handbags, was in the form of gold bars (6 kg) and gold chains (800 grams). The exchange had been planned near the Immigration area of T2. Speaking to mid-day, Air India’s spokesperson said, “We immediately suspended the accused crew member caught by the intelligence agency.”