According to CNN, Australian Federal Police have arrested two flight crew and six other people as part of a six-month exercise codenamed Operation Sunrise. Four women in their 30s and 40s were among those held and four charges of smuggling drugs worth millions. One of the investigation’s “key players” said they had made at least 20 trips.
Asst. Commissioner Tess Walsh, spokeswoman for Australian Federal Police’s Crime Command said,
“(This) has been going on for a long period of time.”
The airline released a statement,
“Malindo Air stands ready to co-operate with all the relevant authorities be it in Australia or in Malaysia in this regard” adding that it considered that it was an isolated incident and that the cabin crew member “has also been suspended with immediate effect pending termination.“
The police operation targeted a “highly organized” Vietnamese crime syndicate based in Melbourne and operating out of the southern city undetected for more than five years. It was believed responsible for the importation of high-grade heroin and methamphetamine from Malaysia.
The 8kg (17lbs) of heroin seized in the operation has a street value of $10.5 million, which “equates to 42,000 street deals, in real terms,” Walsh said.
A further 13 lbs. of meth, with a street value of $4.6 million, was also seized during raids on properties in Melbourne and its suburbs, plus half a kilo of cocaine, a Porsche and a “significant quantity” of cash.
Lion Air made headlines late last year when its 737 MAX-8 aircraft crashed into the sea off Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board. Neither I would call good PR.
So much for walls keeping drugs out.
(Photo, screen grab; via CNN)