Court grants bail to Air India employee, travel agent

Court grants bail to Air India employee, travel agent

Mumbai: A special court has granted bail to an Air India employee and a travel agent, accused of allegedly helping two foreign nationals smuggle drugs, after over eight months in custody.

Special judge of the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act) court J S Kalyanpurkar on 13 August granted bail to Kalpana Kutur (35), a senior telecom officer in Air India and Elias Herman, a travel agency owner who conducted cultural shows in Israel -- on a bond of 50,000.

Their lawyers, Rizwan Merchant and Taraq Sayed, argued the two had no knowledge about the contents of the baggage which contained 50 kg of hashish.

Kutur and Herman were arrested with a Brazilian national, Leonardo Pinheiro and a Russian national, Tatiana Bolomey by the Air Intelligence Unit officials at the international airport on December 20 last year.

An Air India security guard personnel, Bhupesh Kamble noticed some unusual images while screening the luggage of Pinheiro and Bolomey. He alerted the AIU officials, who on examination of the bags detected the hashish.

According to the prosecution case, Pinheiro and Bolomey approached Herman who in turn approached Kutur to help the two clear their baggage.

“Kutur approached Kamble for clearing the baggage of the duo and left when counter staff refused to waive excess baggage," said the investigating officer in his complaint.

Merchant also argued that Kutur, who is a mother of two minor children, is suffering from severe epilepsy for the past 15 years and needs constant treatment.