Caught for smuggling Rs 3 crore on flight! Jet air hostess gets booked for money laundering

The air hostess has been working for a hawala operator

An Indian Jet Airways crew member has been caught trying to smuggle thousands of US dollars out of the country on Monday. The employee, identified as Deveshi Kulshreshtha, was nabbed by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on a Jet Airways flight from Delhi to Hong Kong on Monday. The officials caught her carrying an amount of $480,200 (around Rs 3.2 crores) in a bag.

Here is the video which is doing the rounds on social media:

According to an NDTV report, a DRI team, after receiving a tip-off conducted a surprise check on the Hong Kong-bound flight. When they checked Kulshrestha’s suitcase, they found wads of $100 notes which were tightly packed in foil and cloth. She was then taken off the flight and was later arrested.

Upon further investigation, it was found that 25-year-old Kulshreshta was working for a hawala operator, Amit Malhotra. She had met him in August last year when he came up with the proposition. The two fixed a deal in which Malhotra agreed to pay her Re 1 for every dollar she smuggled.

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What was the modus operandi?

After Malhotra convinced her to join the operation, he held demos for her to show how money wrapped in foils can’t be detected by X-ray machines. Kulsheshtra’s first assignment involved a small amount because she wanted to play it safe. She used to wrap all the notes in foil which looked like chocolates.

The packed notes were kept at the bottom, beneath her make-up kit and clothes. Once it was ‘safely’ smuggled out of Delhi, Kulshreshta would visit a hotel in Hong Kong, where Malhotra’s aides would collect the cash, reports The Times of India. 

The woman being taken to court | Source: Indian Express


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Who is Amit Malhotra?
The 47-year-old runs a travel agency in east Delhi’s Vivek Vihar. Officials say that he used to collect black money from bullion dealers in Delhi and sent it abroad through airline workers. The money was later brought back to India in the form of gold. When his house was raided by the DRI team, a sum of Rs 3.3 lakh in Indian currency and $2,500 was recovered.

What happens to Kulshreshtha now?

The woman, who hails from Dehradun, lives with her husband in Mayur Vihar. She has been working with Jet Airways for the past six years. Recently, she booked a 3 BHK flat in Noida and had paid 30 per cent of the amount in advance. Her husband, however, claimed that he was unaware of her illegal financial dealings. She, along with Malhotra, has now been sent to judicial custody, reports The Indian Express.