A Delhi court on Thursday extended the judicial custody of a female flight attendant of Jet Airways and an agent by two weeks. They were arrested by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for allegedly trying to smuggle out foreign currency worth over Rs 3 crore. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat extended the custody of 25-year-old Deveshi Kulshreshtha and Amit Malhotra, 39, identified as an alleged hawala operator by the DRI, after they were produced before the court on expiry of their 2-day judicial custody.
The agency told the court that the offence committed by them was cognisable and non-bailable and added that the probe was pending.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officials have revealed that the air hostess was a part of a major global hawala syndicate.
According to DRI, Kulshreshtha, part of a major global hawala syndicate, was intercepted by the agency officials when she was boarding a flight at Delhi’s IGI Airport for Hong Kong on January 8.
“During examination of her checked-in and hand baggage, USD 4,80,200 wrapped in aluminium foil, having a market value of Rs 3.25 crore, has been recovered,” the agency said.
“In her voluntary statement, she admitted the aforesaid recovery, seizure and other incriminating facts. She also inter-alia named No. 2 (Malhotra), hereinabove to be concerned with the smuggling of the recovered and seized foreign currency,” the DRI said.
It said the woman had carried foreign currency several times in the past at the behest of Malhotra, a Delhi-based hawala operator based in Vivek Vihar area of Delhi.
It alleged that Malhotra was following a modus operandi of using crew members for smuggling of forex and had befriended the Jet Airways crew member six months ago during a flight to India.