In an incident that has exposed loopholes in the security system of the integrated Terminal 3 of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), the custom department has arrested an airport employee for helping a passenger smuggle memory cards.
Sources said the employee took memory cards from a Hong Kong passenger at the aerobridge, and came out of the airport from the domestic side.
“Airport employees can enter the domestic area from the international area through a gate in the transit area. There have been cases where in smugglers, in connivance with airport employees, have used this loophole to smuggle goods,” a custom department officer said.
A DIAL spokesperson said, “Customs had requested DIAL to close the door in the customs area, which was done. Currently, only immigration staff have access rights to the door strictly on the basis of biometric access control cards. Immigration requires this access due to operational reasons.”
On Friday morning, after a specific input, Surinder Singh Arora, a passenger who had arrived by a Thai airways flight, was detained.
“During interrogation, he said he had handed over the consignment to Kawaldeep Singh, an employee of IDDS Company which is outsourced by DIAL for technical work,” the officer added.
Both were arrested and 8,020 micro SD cards worth R12 lakh were seized from them.
“After arriving, Arora handed over the packet to Singh at the aerobridge washroom. Singh then put it in his socks and used domestic exit to escape, as there was no one to check employees coming out of the airport,” the officer further said.
The duo has confessed to smuggling memory cards on previous occasions too by using the same modus operandi.
“IDDS has not been appointed by DIAL directly,” the DIAL spokesperson said.
Last year too a passenger, had been arrested with memory cards worth Rs 1.11 crore.