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Watching the watchers

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The Hindu reports a smuggling racket:

Shah Jahan had a booked a ticket in the Air India flight to Singapore, scheduled to depart early morning on Sunday. He arrived at Gate No. 9 of the Chennai Airport around midnight on Saturday and handed over a bundle of US Dollar currency notes to Prasad, working with Air India as a Catering Superintendent.

Who watches the watchers?

Vehicles operated by various flight kitchens carrying flight cuisine to air passengers normally enter the airport through Gate No. 9. Prasad wrapped the bundle of currency notes in a newspaper and hid it in his vest. He then entered the aircraft and placed the bundle in the seat that was to be occupied by Shah Jahan.

Based on a tip-off, DRI personnel checked the flight and caught Prasad and Shah Jehan red-handed. Mr. Rajan said that while recording his statement, Prasad had confessed that he had helped Shah Jahan on more than one occasion in the past. Shah Jahan was a habitual offender. Apart from the bundle recovered from the aircraft, some more notes were seized from Shah Jahan’s hand baggage. He was arrested under provisions of Customs Act for smuggling, while Prasad was held for abetting the crime. The value of the seized US Dollars was placed at around Rs. 20 lakh.

The outcome is reported here by IBN Live:

A day after sleuths from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence nabbed a senior catering superintendent working with Air India after he took $300,000 USD into a parked aircraft and put it in a magazine pouch so that a passenger would pick it up, AAI has decided to come down hard on all ‘regular’ permanent employees and officers. Henceforth, they also will not be allowed to carry mobile phones on duty and cannot leave their work place without the permission of their supervisors, said the airport director.

Reacting to the incident, he said in an official statement that the “connivance of a senior employee is a point of concern. He had free access to all sensitive locations including the interiors of the aircraft. He connived with a porter (courier) for some pecuniary benefits.” After some contract workers with Jet Airways were apprehended trying to smuggle a huge haul of ephedrine into a flight, authorities came down hard on all non-permanent staff. Now, these norms are set to become standardised.

The more people that need watching, the more complex it becomes. The more complex it becomes, the more people you need to trust partially. The more people you need to trust partially, the more you need to watch continuously. And so it goes.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

February 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm

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