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'Jet Airways flight attendant part of global hawala racket'



New Delhi: A woman flight attendant of Jet Airways has been arrested by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for allegedly trying to smuggle out forex worth more than Rs 3 crore, with the agency on Tuesday saying that the accused was part of a major global hawala syndicate.

The DRI officials intercepted the woman when she was on a flight to Hong Kong on Monday, the agency said in a statement.
"During the examination of her checked in and hand baggage, $4,80,200 wrapped in aluminium foil having a market value of Rs 3.25 crore, has been recovered," it said.
During interrogation, it came to light that the woman was a carrier of a major international hawala syndicate and has carried foreign currencies many times for a Delhi-based hawala operator, it said.
The operator, identified as Amit Malhotra, is a resident of Vivek Vihar area in Delhi, a senior DRI official said.
He said Malhotra used crew members for smuggling forex.
"Malhotra would collect money from some bullion dealers in Delhi and send it via some air hostess to select foreign destinations. The money was being used for purchasing gold abroad. The gold would then be sent to India illegally," the official said.
Malhotra had befriended the Jet Airways crew six months ago during a flight to India, he said.
The DRI suspected the role of some other crew members of Jet Airways in smuggling out forex, the official said.

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