Delta Employee, Wife Allegedly Caught Smuggling Cash Through ATL

Aug 2, 2018

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An employee for Delta Air Lines and his wife have been charged for smuggling hundreds of thousands of dollars through security checkpoints at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL).

Bubacarr Drammeh and Matako Drammeh were charged Wednesday by the US Justice Department’s Atlanta office for smuggling bulk cash through security. Bubacarr faces an additional count of bribing security officers with money to let the cash through.

Atlanta’s US Attorney’s Office says that Bubacarr smuggled the cash through employee security checkpoints at ATL from November 2016 to September 2017, using his status as an airline employee to circumvent screeners. Once through the checkpoint, the US Attorney alleges he would fly the money to California, or pass it to his wife, who would then fly with it to California.

The couple allegedly took more than 50 of these trips to California.

“We work constantly with our law enforcement and airline partners to maintain a safe, secure environment at the world’s busiest and most efficient airport,” an airport spokesperson told NBC Atlanta. “Additionally, we will continue to assist the federal authorities as needed in this investigation.”

The scheme came to a halt on September 2, 2017, when, according to officials, Bubacarr attempted to bring a bag stuffed with more than $140,000 through the employee security checkpoint. He then tried to bribe a screener, who had discovered the trove of cash, with $8,000. That screener declined and contacted the authorities.

This is the latest incident in a long line of airport or airline employees trying to smuggle contraband through security. A similar incident occurred in January when a Jet Airways flight attendant was caught attempting to smuggle $500,000 on a flight to Hong Kong. Back in March, a Fly Jamaican crew member was arrested at JFK for trying to smuggle nine pounds of cocaine through the airport taped to his body. And just last week, two China Eastern flight attendants were charged for smuggling turtles out of LAX.

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