National carrier Air India has rushed its DGCA nodal officer to Jeddah to get first hand information on one of its cabin crew members, who is under detention at Jeddah Airport since June 4, on charges of gold smuggling.
The airline has also contacted the Indian Embassy officials in Saudi Arabia in this regard, an Air India official said today.
“Jeddah Airport authorities have still not completed their investigation into the allegations. As of now, they have not shared any information with us,” the official said.
When asked when Air India expects the cabin crew member to be release, the official said, “As long as they complete investigation, we have no choice. But it may take another one week before he returns to India.”
The official said that its DGCA nodal officer Sonam Lepcha has flown to Jeddah to interact with the airport authorities and also to get first hand information about the whole incident from Air India local officials in Jeddah.
The cabin crew member was detained on June 4 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,” the airline had said earlier.
The incident had forced Air India to operate the flight with 11 cabin crew members instead of mandatory 12.
The detained cabin crew was handling the quality management system of the in-flight department and was a regular on Jeddah flight, sources said.