Indian intelligence agencies have unearthed an important lead into a possible international money laundering syndicate involving airline crews with the arrest of a Jet Airways hostess who was carrying $480,200 in her checked-in baggage.
Devshi Kulshrestha, 25, a crew member of India’s Jet Airways for the last six years, had wrapped the dollar bills in cloth and aluminum foil to skirt detection at luggage check-in before boarding the Delhi to Hong Kong flight, reported India Today.
The discovery was made during a raid on the flight by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) which later claimed it was tipped off by a source. Upon interrogation, Devshi reportedly confessed to having being involved in the racket wherein huge amounts of money is smuggled from India to different locations. The money is used to buy bullion which is smuggled back to India. Devshi said she was lured into the racket by Delhi-based bullion dealer Amit Malhotra whom she met on a flight a few years ago. Amit Malhotra was later arrested at his residence in Delhi.
“During interrogation, it was revealed that the lady is a carrier of a major international hawala syndicate and has carried foreign currencies many times in the past at the behest of one Delhi-based hawala operator,” a DRI official on conditions of anonymity told Sputnik.
Police have reportedly recovered assorted foreign currencies from different countries worth $2,500 and several incriminating pieces of evidence from Amit Malhotra’s residence. The duo was produced before a local court which ordered them to be kept in judicial custody for two days. Meanwhile, the police are preparing a charge sheet to start legal proceedings against them for flouting the country’s money laundering laws.