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2 Saudi Airlines crew members, 1 other held with gold at Dhaka airport

  • Published at 12:12 pm March 18th, 2019
Two detained female flight attendants of a Saudi Arabian Airlines seen in this photograph provided by Dhaka Airport Customs on Monday, March 18, 2019 Courtesy

Two flight attendants had concealed gold bars inside their undergarments

Custom officials at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka detained two female flight attendants of Saudi Arabian Airlines and seized 36 gold bars from their possession early Monday.

Later on the same day, the officials detained a female bank official at the airport and recovered one kg of gold which she was carrying without declaration.  

Othello Chowdhury, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Customs House said, acting on a tip-off that the two female crew were carrying smuggled gold, the customs officers followed them after Saudi Airlines flight SV-802 arrived at the airport at 2am on Monday. They challenged them while they were passing the Green channel of the airport.  

“With the help of airport armed Police Battalion and other forces at the airport, the customs team recovered 36 gold bars, concealed inside their undergarments,” Othello Chowdhury said.

They are: Saima Akhter, 40, and Farzana Afrose, 32.

Premier Bank official Razia Sultana detained by Customs officials while carrying 1kg of gold | Courtesy

Custom officials seized 10 gold bars from Farzana and 26 from Samia. The market value of the seized bars weighing 4.2kg is estimated at Tk2.1 crore.

In another incident, the custom officials detained Razia Sultana, assistant vice president of Premier Bank, also the in-charge (operation) of Kalabagan Bank branch at the Dhaka airport for carrying raw gold without proper documents.

This reporter, in effort to talk to the Managing Director of Premier Bank made several calls, but failed to reach him as none attended the phone calls. 

Also Read- 106 gold bars found in Biman aircraft toilet

The banker Razia Sultana was carrying one kg of gold worth Tk50 lakh without making any declaration before. She landed at the airport at 8am on Monday, said Othello Chowdhury.

When she was challenged for carrying goods that might be subject to pay taxes, she denied. Later, on primary interrogation she confessed that the gold did not belong to her and she agreed to carry the gold over monetary benefit. The custom officials seized the gold, he added. 

"Preparation are underway for filing cases with airport police station under Customs Act and Special Power Act, and the three would be handed over to police,” Othello Chowdhury said.