Malindo Air confirms crew member arrested in Australia for smuggling drugs

Malindo Air confirms crew member arrested in Australia for smuggling drugs

Eight people were arrested in Melbourne, Australia, accused in the trafficking of millions of dollars worth of illegal drugs into the country over a period of months, two of them airline cabin crew members accused of smuggling the drugs via "body packing", officials announced Wednesday.

"We have now learnt from the various media reports that the said cabin crew was arrested for allegedly being part of an worldwide drug syndicate which used various airlines' cabin crews for smuggling drugs into Australia.

It was reported that the cabin crew allegedly carried these drugs on their bodies while flying from Malaysia to Melbourne and Sydney.

Commander Walsh said police believed the syndicate had been operating for at least five years and that the drugs seized so far were clearly "not the total amount of drugs" alleged to have been imported.

Police have busted an worldwide drug syndicate that they allege has been using airline cabin crew on board flights from Malaysia to smuggle drugs into Australia over a number of years.

Malindo Air said in a statement that it has yet to communicate either with their staff or the Australian police but had raised the matter with the Malaysian consul-general's office in Melbourne upon learning of the detention.

Police said they had made the eight arrests over the past 10 days, apprehending four women and four men aged between 26 and 55 in and around Melbourne. Commissioner Tess Walsh, spokeswoman for Australian Federal Police's Crime Command.

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"The amount of heroin alone involved in this investigation amounts to nearly 50,000 hits in real terms", she said.

Liong said that the company was "not aware that. another crew (member) from Malindo Air is involved".

The police operation targeted a "highly organized" Vietnamese crime syndicate based in Melbourne and operating out of the southern city for some years, Walsh told CNN, adding that they suspect the syndicate has been operating across Australia, undetected, for more than five years. The Australian Border Force have crippled a drug syndicate that smuggled in 20 million worth of drugs into the country.

Besides drugs, the police also seized luxury cars and US$100,000 in cash from the alleged smugglers.

The company said it "stands ready to co-operate with all the relevant authorities" and has suspended the worker.

"Last year, in Victoria alone, in excess of 2,000 airline crew were subject to intervention at the border by our officers", Commander Craig Palmer with the Australian Border Force said at the press conference.

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