Malindo Air confirms crew member arrested in Australia for smuggling drugs

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 16): Malindo Air confirmed today that one of its cabin crew was arrested on arrival at the Melbourne International Airport by the Australian police on Jan 7 for alleged drug smuggling.

Reuters reported earlier that an employee of Malindo Air was among eight people arrested in Australia on charges of trafficking more than 14 kg of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.

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.

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

“Malindo Air through the various media reports is also aware that cabin crew from other international carriers have since been arrested on similar charges over the last couple of months.

“Malindo Air stands ready to co-operate with all the relevant authorities be it in Australia or in Malaysia in this regard. The said cabin crew has also 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. All our flight and cabin crew are adequately trained and continuously appraised in all aspects of their conduct to comply with our stringent operating standards,” it said.

The airline also said the arrest is likely an isolated incident arising out of a crew’s misconduct, based on the information the airline has learnt to date and the findings from their internal investigations.

None of the remaining Malindo Air crew on the said flight was detained.

The airline said it will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure their passengers’ safety and security and abide by all the prevailing international regulatory standards.