Strict security check of airlines crew to check gold smuggling
The move comes after authorities found either an airline crew or workers of ground handling companies allegedly involved in 80 cases of gold smuggling reported in past three years, official sources said. All employees, including airlines crew, who have access to the incoming passengers need to be checked <g data-gr-id="27">throughly</g> every time they go out of the airport, they said.
The decision in this regard was taken at a recent meeting by the Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence (DGRI) with officials of airlines, immigration, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), customs and Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), they said.
The meeting was held on Wednesday in the backdrop of cases of gold smuggling by airlines crew and ground handling staff working at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA).
The airlines have been educated that they should report any suspicious passengers to the customs authority. Airlines, especially national carrier Air India and Jet Airways which have maximum number of flights from foreign destinations to India, have been told to identify such passengers pro-actively as they come to know in advance about the gold or other items being carried by them while screening and frisking their baggage, the sources said.
Similarly, they can also share information about the passengers, who may or may not be well off and have been frequently travelling to foreign countries with or without any convincing reasons, with the customs. It will help in checking gold smuggling, the sources said.
“We want close coordination among all the <g data-gr-id="24">stake holders</g> be it customs, immigration, CISF, airlines and DIAL to ensure that the IGIA is not used for gold smuggling and other illegal activities.
“It is not only about economic security getting affected by gold smuggling but also national security which might get compromised by smuggling other things. If people can smuggle gold into the country, they might also bring in FICN and narcotics,” an official privy to the meeting’s discussion said.
There has been an unprecedented five-time jump in cases of gold smuggling in 2014-15 over 2012-13 during which yellow metal worth Rs 1,120 crore was seized.