Jet Airways air hostess, who was caught smuggling $480,200 (valued at ₹3. 5 crore) wrapped in aluminium foil, had reportedly smuggled foreign currency on at least seven previous occasions before she was caught on Sunday late night on board a Delhi-Hong Kong flight.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), who have arrested Deveshi Kulshreshtha (25) along with her agent Amit Malhotra (39), said the duo are part of a bigger international hawala syndicate.
Jet Airways crew member busted with Rs 3.
A city court on Tuesday sent Kulshreshtha and Malhotra to two-day judicial custody and directed the DRI to produce them before the concerned metropolitan magistrate on January 11.
Sources said that Malhotra met Kulshreshtha in August last year when he was returning from Hong Kong by a Jet Airways flights. Malhotra had a chat with her while she was serving the meal to him. They exchanged contact details and later met to discuss the plan. She made four-five domestic trips before going to Hong Kong. Before going there, she used to meet the supplier and collect the currency from him,” said a DRI official on condition of anonymity.
Investigators said she used to get 1% of the total money she laundered as commission.
In August last year, she travelled for the first time with $50,000. Thereafter, she travelled with $1,00,000 and this was her eighth trip with the Hawala money. Another person used to come to the hotel in Hong Kong to collect the money. Malhotra, who runs a tour and travel business in east Delhi’s Vivek Vihar, has also been arrested,” said the DRI official.