In a world of tariffs and walls, one professional has an easier time than most in clearing borders with minimal scrutiny: a flight attendant. But even FAs are not immune from random inspections.
A Singapore Airlines FA was arrested at in New Delhi (DEL) after he was found with 1,048 grams (37 ounces or 1.04KG) of undeclared gold on his person.
The gold was concealed under his uniform in the form of a gold chain and bracelet. It is not clear how he was caught, but he spilled the beans when confronted. He revealed to authorities that he was to meet an agent in a five-star hotel in Delhi to exchange the gold for a 500SGD ($383) courier fee. Authorities confiscated the gold.
Gold imports are taxed at 10% under 1KG and about 36% over 1KG. The Indian government uses the daily spot rate to determine the value of gold. It is thus no surprise that paying a FA $383 to avoid steep duties may generally be worth the gamble for an unscrupulous dealer.
In a statement, Singapore Airlines (SIA) only confirms that a member of its cabin crew was detained. Citing confidentiality, it declines to provide any further information.
SIA confirms that a member of its cabin crew operating on SIA flight SQ402 on Jan 22 was detained by Delhi Customs authorities.
SIA will provide full co-operation to the investigating authorities. We are unable to provide details of the crew member concerned due to confidential reasons.
The moral of the story is again that lawbreaking does not pay. This FA will likely be sacked from Singapore Airlines and has now not only lost his career, but is disgraced and may not find work elsewhere ever again.