Customs asks Air India, AI-SATS details of action taken against staff booked in gold smuggling cases
New Delhi: The customs department has written to the heads of national carrier Air India and ground handling firm AI-SATS seeking details of action taken against their staff found involved in gold smuggling cases booked by it in past three years.
The move comes after the department noticed “spurt” in involvement of Air India ground staff/crew member in gold smuggling cases booked by the customs at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport here.
An Air India crew member and a catering staff were arrested on Sunday by the customs officials for allegedly trying to smuggle into the country gold valuing about Rs 72.46 lakh at the international airport. The crew had come in a flight from London.
“In recent past many cases of smuggling were booked in which direct or indirect involvement of Air India ground staff/crew member was found,” said a letter written recently by the customs to the Chief Executive Officer of AI-SATS.
AISATS is an airport service provider. It is a joint venture between Air India (AI) and Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS).
“Time to time this was also intimated to the concerned company, but till date this office has not received any response that what actions have been taken against the guilty staff/crew member found involved in such cases,” said the letter.
“Therefore, it is requested to forward details of action taken against staff members of Air India (AI-SATS), who were found to be involved in cases booked by customs at IGI airport, Delhi during last three years. Urgent reply in this regard will be highly appreciated,” it said in the letter carrying details of the cases registered by the customs against AI-SATS staff members in the past three years.
In its letter, the department mentioned a case in which a “crew member of Air India” was arrested by the customs department on November 23, 2020 at the international airport here “for his involvement in the smuggling of one kg gold into India”.
In a separate letter to the chief of Air India, the department asked to “initiate strict action” against the cabin crew member arrested on November 23 by its officials for his involvement in the smuggling of one kilogram of gold.
“Further, it is also requested to forward details of action taken against other staff members of Air India, who were found to be involved in any cases booked by customs at IGI airport, Delhi during last three years. Urgent reply in this regard will be highly appreciated,” said the letter.
The department has mentioned cases of gold smuggling involving Air India’s staff registered by it in the last three years in its letter to the CMD of the national carrier.