Malindo Air is a carrier based in Malaysia, which is owned by Indonesian Lion Air Group. It’s name is a merging of ‘Malaysia’ and ‘Indonesia.’
The airline operates various flights to Asia, as well as some routes to Australia, including to Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth from Kuala Lumpur.
The Straits Times is reporting that (at least) two Malindo cabin crew members have been arrested by Australian Border Force officers as part of an international drug syndicate based in Melbourne, smuggling around USD$15 million worth of heroin and methamphetamine.
The cabin crew apparently smuggled these drugs by strapping them to their bodies.
The Straits Times states that the crew were operating flights to Melbourne and Sydney, but Malindo doesn’t operate to Sydney at all.
Malindo Air has issued a statement regarding the incident, saying that only one cabin crew member had been arrested, and adding that:
The said cabin crew (member) has been suspended with immediate effect pending termination. As a responsible international air carrier, Malindo Air does not condone any act that is criminal in nature or misconduct by our personnel.
Australian Border Force has said of international cabin crew:
They are subject to intervention at the border like everyone else and face significant penalties if they are found to be using their positions to attempt to circumvent our border controls.
This is like something out of a movie.
If you’ve ever watched the famous movie ‘Midnight Express,’ it shows how passengers used to smuggle drugs through airports decades ago, but I thought full body scanners would have put a stop to that.
I know cabin crew need to go through body scanners (where they are installed) but I would have thought these machines would have easily spotted where anything was strapped to the body?
(Featured image courtesy of Shadman Samee)