In a letter written by DRI director general Najeeb Shah, AI has been asked to sanitise its staff, especially those involved in ground-handling duties, official sources said. The DRI also cited some incidents of gold smuggling by AI staffers in its missive, they said.
AI did not offer any response on the matter.
There have been growing instances of gold smuggling by AI staffers. We seek immediate steps by them to ensure such kind of incidents do not happen, a DRI official said.
We have been taking strict measures to check gold smuggling. The airline management also needs to put in place an effective system, the official said. DRI is understood to have sought a detailed inquiry report regarding those staffers held for illegally bringing gold into India.
An AI air hostess and her friend were arrested by DRI last month from Calicut International Airport for allegedly trying to smuggle into the country 6 kg of gold, officials said. In October, 32 kg of gold biscuits, worth R15 crore in the international market, were recovered from the lavatory of an AI flight when it reached Chennai from Dubai. Four persons were later arrested in the case, they said.