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IA crew member held

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, APRIL 29. A Chennai-based senior Indian Airlines flight purser was detained by air customs authorities at the Anna International Terminal (AIT) for allegedly smuggling ``gold jewellery'' worth Rs.9.5 lakhs shortly after he completed the Singapore-Chennai Indian Airlines flight duty on Thursday.

Giving details of the seizure effected and the method adopted by the airline staff, the Commissioner of Customs (Airport and Air Cargo Complex), P.N. Vittal Dass, said the detention was made following intelligence that the airline cabin crew staff were ``indulging in smuggling activities''.

Subsequently, the Air Intelligence Unit Customs officials today stepped up surveillance shortly after landing of the IA flight.

A total of 1.78 kg of ornamental jewellery in two packets, valued at Rs.9.5 lakhs and was kept concealed in the cap by creating a secret cavity. The name of the crew member was given as Balu Raj.

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