Flight Attendants Accused of Smuggling Millions of Dollars Worth of Drugs
Multiple Malindo Air flight attendants have been arrested by Australian Federal Police after allegedly helping to smuggle millions of dollars worth of heroin and methamphetamine from Asia into Australia.
According to CNN, two flight crew and six other people were arrested as part of a six-month exercise codenamed Operation Sunrise earlier this month.
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News.com.au described the accused as a female Malindo Air cabin crew employee and another staffer. Meanwhile, a second flight attendant was arrested at Sydney Airport over the weekend and charged with importing a border-controlled drug.
Investigators allege that the accused cabin crew members for the Lion Air subsidiary hid the drugs on their bodies on behalf of a “highly organized” Vietnamese crime syndicate based in Melbourne. The flight attendants were believed to have made at least 20 trips.
Authorities seized 8 kilograms (17 pounds) of heroin possessing a street value of $10.5 million or 42,000 street deals, according to Asst. Commissioner Tess Walsh, spokeswoman for Australian Federal Police’s Crime Command.
Authorities also seized an additional 6 kilograms (13 pounds) of meth, with a street value of $4.6 million, as well as half a kilo of cocaine, vehicles including a Porsche and a “significant quantity” of cash, CNN reported.
“Malindo Air stands ready to cooperate with all the relevant authorities be it in Australia or in Malaysia in this regard,” the airline said in a statement last week, adding that it believed the incident was isolated and that the cabin crew member “has also been suspended with immediate effect pending termination.”
Australian police have confirmed that one of the 8 people arrested in Australia for drug trafficking was an employee for Malindo Air. According to authorities, the airline crew member was part of a group that brought drugs from Malaysia onto aircrafts to be sold in Australia. pic.twitter.com/j52ndFpHv2
— BFM News (@NewsBFM) January 16, 2019
Last year, a China Eastern Airlines flight attendant pleaded guilty to illegally smuggling two-dozen turtles into China.