News of a Jet Airways hostess who was arrested while trying to smuggle USD 3.21 crore to Hong Kong, wrapped in foil, emerged yesterday. The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) arrested 25-year-old Devshi Kulshreshtha, who had already made multiple trips to Hong Kong and had successfully smuggled forex before she was eventually caught on Monday. Investigating officers found that she was working with a hawala operator, Amit Malhotra, a resident of Delhi's Vivek Vihar. According to reports about new developments, Kulshreshtha has named two more people from Jet Airways.
Kulshreshtha was allegedly paid Rs 1 lakh for every trip. According to a report in Times of India, she had recently been charging a rupee for every dollar. Her husband, who works in a placement agency, would deposit her money in the bank but she had not revealed the source to him. Even he claimed innocence but DRI officials are looking at his involvement and are reluctant to believe that he had no idea where so much money was coming from.
A tip-off led DRI officials to check her luggage before the Delhi-Hong Kong flight's takeoff, where they found the wads of cash.
Impressed by her hospitality, Amit Malhotra, who has also been arrested, befriended Kulshreshtha on a flight to Delhi six months ago. The two exchanged numbers after he spun a story about being a business tycoon, as a report in Times of India mentions.
They later met after Malhotra sent her a text asking if they could meet. Malhotra revealed his grand plan to her during that meeting, asking her to be a part of it. Kulshreshtha was supposed to carry some cash for his "business associates", the TOI report mentions.
Although Kulshreshtha initially refused, Malhotra managed to convince her. She would wrap bundles of cash in foil, put them in her bag and cover it with her clothes and makeup kit. Kulshreshtha would pass off the wrapped up-cash as chocolates. Once in her hotel in Hong Kong, she would message Malhotra, who would send someone to pick the cash from her.
While checking her luggage, DRI officials found 32 bundles of notes in her check-in baggage and 16 more in her hand baggage.
Kulshreshtha and Malhotra have been sent on a two-day judicial custody, and they will be produced by the DRI before concerned metropolitan magistrate on January 11.
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