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Delta employee, wife charged in cash smuggling scheme

The couple is accused of smuggling hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash through airport security checkpoints.

ATLANTA – A Delta Air Lines employee and his wife have been charged with smuggling hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and transporting that money out to California.

Bubacarr Drammeh and Matako Drammeh are charged in the scheme, the Atlanta office of the U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday.

Bubacarr Drammeh has also been charged with bribing airport employees to get the cash through security.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Drammehs exploited Bubacarr Drammeh’s status as an airline employee from November 2016 to September 2017 to evade airport security screenings in an effort to smuggle hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash through airport security checkpoints.

Once through security, Bubacarr Drammeh allegedly transported the unscreened bulk cash on passenger flights to California.

Matako Drammeh also took similar trips to California with cash her husband allegedly delivered to her in the airport after he smuggled the cash through security undetected. Together, the Drammehs allegedly took over 50 trips.

The indictment also alleges Bubacarr Drammeh bribed or attempted to bribe airport employees with money to smuggle bulk cash through security.

On September 2, 2017, officials said Bubacarr Drammeh tried to bring a bag filled with over $140,000 in cash through an employee security checkpoint. When a screener at the checkpoint discovered the money, Drammeh allegedly offered the screener $8,000 in cash in exchange for not reporting the money to the authorities. The screener refused and contacted law enforcement.

“The multi-layered approach to security at ATL addresses passengers and employees alike," said airport spokesman Andrew Gobeil. "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. Additionally, we will continue to assist the federal authorities as needed in this investigation.”

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