National carrier Air India said it is awaiting an investigation report from the Jeddah Airport authorities on one of its cabin crew members, who is under detention allegedly for smuggling gold.
The cabin crew member was detained on Thursday just before boarding the airline’s flight from Jeddah for Kochi for allegedly carrying gold more than the permitted limit.
“The crew member claims that he had bought the gold for his personal use while the airport authorities allege that it was meant for smuggling. Their investigation is on,” an Air India official said.
Air India is awaiting investigation report prior to taking any action against its employee, the official said.
The incident had forced Air India to operate the flight with 11 cabin crew members instead of mandatory 12.
This is the third incident of alleged gold smuggling by the airline’s in-flight staff as earlier two cabin crew members of the UK-based carrier Virgin Atlantic and a flight attendant of Jet Airways were booked for similar charges.
Late last month, two Virgin Atlantic cabin crew were arrested by the DRI officials for allegedly trying to smuggle in gold valued about Rs. 1.1 crore at the Indira Gandhi International airport.
Earlier in March, a Jet Airways flight attendant was arrested by the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) officials at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport for allegedly trying to smuggle in gold and cut diamonds to the tune of over Rs. 1 crore.