A video of SpiceJet air hostesses accusing the airline of strip searching them at Chennai airport has appeared on social media, even as the the airline has denied the allegation.
The crew has alleged that they were strip-searched after de-boarding on the suspicion that they were swindling cash collected from the sale of food and other items on-board.
While, SpiceJet has confirmed that their security teams undertook “random pat down searches” at some stations on the night of 28 and 29 March as part of the security and safety standard operating procedures (SOP), the airline rejected the allegation that the crew was strip-searched.
The airline has said the allegations regarding deviation from SOPs were being probed and strict action would be taken if anybody was found guilty.
“One of the objectives of this search is to ensure that there is no pilferage of company money/goods, smuggling or any illegal activity that an employee may be lured into. This also ensures security and safety of our passengers, employees and assets. This search is essentially the same as what any passenger goes through at any of the Indian airports,” said a SpiceJet spokesperson.
He said the searches were conducted as per the laid-down procedures in closed rooms by well-trained employees of same gender.
During the searches on 28 and March 29, a few cases of pilferages were detected and appropriate disciplinary action was initiated, the spokesperson added.
Earlier in January 2018, a Delhi court had sent a Jet Airways crew and her accomplice to judicial custody after they were arrested on charges of involvement in the smuggling of US dollars worth Rs 3.21 crore.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had arrested Deveshi Kulshreshtha, who was on duty on a Hong Kong-bound Jet Airways flight, and her accomplice Amit Malhotra on charges of smuggling foreign currency.
The DRI officials found $ 4,80,200 (approximately Rs 3.21 crore) wrapped in foil in her possession.