18kg smuggled gold seized in Ahm, 5 held

Times of India | 1 month ago | 30-11-2022 | 04:11 pm

18kg smuggled gold seized in Ahm, 5 held

AHMEDABAD: Just ahead of the assembly elections in Gujrat, some five passengers arriving from Sharjah at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) airport in Ahmedabad were arrested on Tuesday by the air intelligence unit of the Customs Commissionerate, Ahmedabad, for smuggling gold. Some 18.34kg of gold was recovered and seized by the Customs department officials. Gold price stood at Rs 54,500 per 10 gram in the Ahmedabad market. Accordingly, the seized gold is estimated to be worth Rs 10 crore in the local markets here. The duo was among the five passengers who were intercepted by the customs officials, based on passenger profiling carried out using scientific tools. Two of the five were found to be carrying gold concealed in paste form in a waist belt. Officers of the air intelligence unit at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) airport in Ahmedabad said, "Gold was concealed in the form of paste and kept in pockets of a specially designed belt the passengers wore around their waist. The duo claimed they were wearing a specific belt for relief from backache". The gold was confiscated by the Customs department officials under section 111 and section 11(3) of the Customs Act, 1962. "Upon interrogation, the remaining three passengers admitted active involvement in smuggling gold with these two passengers," said a Customs official. Offence has been registered against all five passengers under Section 132 and Section 135 of the Customs Act 1962. All have been arrested and produced before the court. Of late, Ahmedabad Customs has been increasingly unearthing cases of gold smuggling in huge quantities. Gold smuggling has particularly increased over the past 8-10 months as the basic customs duty on gold has been increased by the Union Finance Ministry as a result of which gold price is higher in India. “Lately, due to geopolitical uncertainty and economic instability, yellow metal prices are already high. With the Indian currency depreciating past the 81-mark, the effective price of gold in the Indian market is even higher after adding duties. Therefore, procurement of gold through unofficial channels is increasingly taking place here to save duties,” said Haresh Acharya, director, India Bullion, and Jewellers’ Association.

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Flight data, voice recorders retrieved from Nepal crash site
The Indian Express | 1 week ago | 16-01-2023 | 05:35 pm
The Indian Express
1 week ago | 16-01-2023 | 05:35 pm

A spokesman for Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority says a flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder have been retrieved from the site of the crash of a passenger plane that went down on approach to a newly opened airport in the tourist town of Pokhara.Jagannath Niraula said the boxes were found on Monday, a day after the ATR-72 aircraft crashed, killing at least 68 of the 72 people aboard. He said they will be handed over to investigators. Rescuers are still searching the debris, which is scattered down a 300-meter (984 feet) gorge.Pemba Sherpa, spokesperson for Yeti Airlines, also confirmed that both the flight data and the cockpit voice recorders have been found.It remains unclear what caused the crash, the country’s deadliest airplane accident in three decades, which took place amid mild, non-windy weather.The twin-engine ATR 72 aircraft, operated by Nepal’s Yeti Airlines, was completing the 27-minute flight from the capital, Kathmandu, to Pokhara, 200 kilometers (125 miles) west. It was carrying 68 passengers, including 15 foreign nationals, as well as four crew members, Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement. The foreigners included five Indians, four Russians, two South Koreans, and one each from Ireland, Australia, Argentina and France.A witness who recorded footage of the plane’s descent from his balcony said he saw the plane flying low before it suddenly veered to its left. “I saw that and I was shocked… I thought that today everything will be finished here after it crashes, I will also be dead,” said Diwas Bohora. After it crashed, red flames erupted and the ground shook violently, like an earthquake, Bohora said. “I was scared. Seeing that scene, I was scared.”Amit Singh, an experienced pilot and founder of India’s Flight Safety Foundation, said the video appears to show a stall, a situation in which a plane loses lift, especially likely at low airspeeds.A pilot who routinely flies an ATR 72-500 plane from India to Nepal, said the region’s topography, with its mountain peaks and narrow valleys, raises the risk of accidents and sometimes requires pilots to fly by sight rather than relying on instruments. The pilot, who works for a private Indian airline and didn’t want to be named due to company policy, called ATR 72-500 an “unforgiving aircraft” if the pilot isn’t highly skilled and familiar with the region’s terrain and wind speeds.Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority said the aircraft last made contact with the airport from near Seti Gorge at 10:50 a.m. before crashing.Hundreds of people gathered outside the Pokhara Academy of Health and Science, Western Hospital, where the bodies are being kept. Relatives and friends of victims, many of whom were from Pokhara, consoled each other as they waited.Bimala Bhenderi was waiting outside the post-mortem room Monday. She was planning to meet her friend, Tribhuban Paudel, on Tuesday when she heard that his flight had crashed. “I’m so sad, I can’t believe it still,” she said in tears.Bikash Jaiswal said he could only identify his wife’s brother only by the ring he wore, and that he had yet to tell his wife, who was giving birth Sunday. Sanjay Jaiswal, who worked as a marketing agent for a private pharmaceutical company in Kathmandu, was flying to Pokhara for the birth. More than 24 hours after the crash, Sanjay’s body lay in the same hospital where his niece was just born.“He was a hardworking person and now there’s no one left in his family to earn,” Bikash said.The Civil Aviation Authority said that 38 people have been identified. Gyan Khadka, a police spokesperson in the district, said the bodies will be handed over to family after officials finish post mortem reports. The bodies of foreigners and those that are unrecognizable will be sent to Kathmandu for further investigation.Local resident Bishnu Tiwari, who rushed to the crash site near the Seti River to help search for bodies, said rescue efforts Sunday were hampered by thick smoke and a raging fire.“The flames were so hot that we couldn’t go near the wreckage. I heard a man crying for help, but because of the flames and smoke we couldn’t help him,” Tiwari said.At Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, family members appeared distraught as they waited for information.South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it’s still trying to confirm the fate of two South Korean passengers and has sent staff to the scene.The Russian Ambassador to Nepal, Alexei Novikov, confirmed the death of four Russian citizens who were on board the plane.Omar Gutiérrez, governor of Argentina’s Neuquen province, wrote on his official Twitter account that an Argentine passenger on the flight was Jannet Palavecino, from his province.The Facebook page of Palavecino says she was manager of the Hotel Suizo in Neuquen city. She described herself as a lover of travel and adventure tourism.Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers told reporters Monday that “our hearts go out to all of the families of the crew and passengers” who died, adding that the government was providing consular support to the family of an Australian who was aboard the plane.The type of plane involved, the ATR 72, has been used by airlines around the world for short regional flights. Introduced in the late 1980s by a French and Italian partnership, the aircraft model has been involved in several deadly accidents over the years. In Taiwan, two accidents involving ATR 72-500 and ATR 72-600 aircrafts in 2014 and 2015 led to the planes being grounded for a period.ATR identified the plane involved in Sunday’s crash as an ATR 72-500 in a tweet. According to plane tracking data from flightradar24.com, the aircraft was 15 years old and “equipped with an old transponder with unreliable data.” It was previously flown by India’s Kingfisher Airlines and Thailand’s Nok Air before Yeti took it over in 2019, according to records on Airfleets.net.Yeti Airlines has a fleet of six ATR 72-500 planes, company spokesperson Sudarshan Bartaula said.Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Mount Everest, has a history of air crashes. Sunday’s crash is Nepal’s deadliest since 1992, when all 167 people aboard a Pakistan International Airlines plane were killed when it plowed into a hill as it tried to land in Kathmandu.According to the Flight Safety Foundation’s Aviation Safety database, there have been 42 fatal plane crashes in Nepal since 1946.According to a 2019 safety report from Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority, the country’s “hostile topography” and “diverse weather patterns” were the biggest dangers to flights in the country. The report said such accidents happened at airports that had short strips of runway for takeoff and landing and most were due to pilot error.The report added that 37% of all air crashes in Nepal between 2009 and 2018 were due to pilot error, not counting helicopters and recreational flights.The European Union has banned airlines from Nepal from flying into the 27-nation bloc since 2013, citing weak safety standards. In 2017, the International Civil Aviation Organization cited improvements in Nepal’s aviation sector, but the EU continues to demand administrative reforms.

Flight data, voice recorders retrieved from Nepal crash site
PM said ‘humse badi galti ho gayi, aapko bhej diya’: DhaliwalPremium Story
The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | 11-01-2023 | 02:35 pm
The Indian Express
2 weeks ago | 11-01-2023 | 02:35 pm

US-based NRI Darshan Singh Dhaliwal — who was sent back from the Delhi airport on the night of October 23-24, 2021, allegedly for arranging a langar for farmers protesting at the national capital’s borders then — said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “apologised” to him “in front of 150 people” last April. Dhaliwal was among those who received the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award on Tuesday.Speaking to The Indian Express after receiving the award from President Droupadi Murmu here, Dhaliwal, who migrated to the US in 1972, said the conversation happened last April when Modi hosted a large Sikh delegation at his official residence in Delhi.“He apologised to me in front of 150 people over the fact that I was sent back and added ‘humse badi galti ho gayi, aapko bhej diya, par aapka bahut bada badappan hai jo aap humare kehne pe phir bhi aa gaye (Sending you back was a big mistake on our part, but you have shown magnanimity by still showing up on my request)’,” Dhaliwal told The Indian Express.The meeting was attended by Sikh businessmen from across the world, he said. According to a statement issued by the PMO on April 29, 2022, addressing the delegation, Modi hailed the contribution of the Sikhs, saying the community has acted as a strong link in “cementing ties between India and other countries.”Dhaliwal was put on a return flight to the US on the night of October 23-24, 2021. Recalling the incident, he said that at the airport, the authorities gave him two choices. “I was told to either stop the langar and mediate with the farmers or go back. I was given two choices,” he said.He said the langar was a humanitarian gesture on his part. “The issue was that I had a langar. In December (2020), when the farmers came to Delhi, it started raining in the middle of the night. I saw the videos, they were sleeping in the water, it was cold. I felt these people needed help. So I decided to put up a langar and provide tents to stay, give charpoys (beds), blankets and razais (quilts),” said Dhaliwal, who runs a chain of fuel stations across the US.Asked if he also supported the political cause of the protesting farmers, Dhaliwal said, “It was humanitarian, it had nothing to do with politics. I did it for the people.”He said the government’s decision to make his entry into India conditional did not bother him at that point. “When I was sent back, it did not bother me that much. I thought this is what destiny is, they sent me back for some reason though I did not know the reason, and today they are honouring me with the highest award… Bhagwan ki daya hai (It is God’s grace),” he said.Dhaliwal, who migrated to the US in 1972 to pursue engineering, said he visits India three to four times every year. “After I got my degree, I did not wish to work for anyone else, so I got into my own business… Over the years, I have received several awards from the Punjab government. This is the first one from the Union government,” he said.

PM said ‘humse badi galti ho gayi, aapko bhej diya’: DhaliwalPremium Story
'Drunk' passenger 'urinates' at forecourt of Delhi airport's T3; arrested
The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | 11-01-2023 | 02:35 pm
The Indian Express
2 weeks ago | 11-01-2023 | 02:35 pm

A drunk passenger allegedly urinated at the forecourt of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport Terminal 3 on January 8 and has since been arrested and released on bail, officials said Wednesday.The accused was caught after he was seen exposing himself to other passengers at the departure gate and then urinating there. The police said the man also hurled abuses at others and misbehaved with them.According to the police, the incident took place around 5.30 pm when the passenger and others had lined up for their Delhi to Daman Indigo flight.“A passenger named Jauhar Ali Khan…approached Departure Gate no. 6 at the forecourt of T3. He was in a drunken condition…. He urinated by unzipping his pants at a public place in front of passengers and visitors…Apart from this, he created a nuisance at a public place by screaming and abusing people” read the FIR that was lodged on the complaint of a senior security official.Khan was arrested and sent to Safdarjung hospital where doctors concluded he was drunk. He has been booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 294 (obscene act) and 510 (misconduct in public by a drunk person).Two other incidents of drunk passengers misbehaving at the airport or inside a flight have come to light over the last week. A former employee of Wells Fargo was arrested last week for allegedly urinating on a 70-year-old woman on a New York-Delhi flight in November. The accused, Shankar Mishra, was allegedly drunk and urinated on his co-passenger in the business class.The police also caught two men onboard a Delhi-Patna flight, also on January 8, for abusing the air hostess and cabin crew after allegedly getting drunk.

'Drunk' passenger 'urinates' at forecourt of Delhi airport's T3; arrested
Bomb threat on Moscow-Goa flight a hoax
Times of India | 2 weeks ago | 11-01-2023 | 07:48 am
Times of India
2 weeks ago | 11-01-2023 | 07:48 am

RAJKOT: After thorough checking by the National Security Guard (NSG) and other security agencies, the Moscow-Goa flight which had made an emergency landing at Jamnagar airport on Monday night following a bomb threat, took off on Tuesday afternoon after nearly 15 hours. The aircraft, carrying 236 passengers and eight crew members, had made an emergency landing following a bomb threat which proved to be a hoax as nothing suspicious was found onboard, officials said. According to the officials, the charter flight of Azur Air took off from Moscow for Goa with all Russian citizens on board. The airline received an email with bomb threat and informed the Goa ATC (air traffic controller). The Goa ATC diverted the flight to the nearest airport at Jamnagar. The aircraft landed at Jamnagar airport at 9.50pm. The Jamnagar airport authority immediately informed the police, the district administration and all the authorities concerned. Ambulances from the private industries and government agencies, teams from the fire brigades and medical personnel from G G Hospital in Jamnagar were put on standby. The passengers were shifted to the waiting area taking care that nobody gets panicked. According to sources they were informed about the threat only after deboarding. The NSG bomb disposal team that was flown in from Ahmedabad by the Indian Air Force (IAF), scanned the aircraft and personal baggage of passengers in coordination with BDS (bomb disposal squad) and Jamnagar police before clearing the flight to its final destination — Dabolim airport, Goa. Jamnagar district collector Sourabh Pardhi said, “The flight clearance was given after a thorough search by all the security agencies. We have concluded that the threat was a hoax. The flight took off for Goa at 1.15 pm after completing all the formalities.” The passengers spent the night at Jamnagar airport lounge which is a small airport. The canteen staff was called in the night while the airport authority and district administration arranged for food, water and other essentials from outside. Anoop Gupta director of Jamnagar airport told TOI, “We provided all the necessary facilities, served water bottles, snacks, tea and coffee during the night and district administration also arranged for morning breakfast. They were taken care of till they boarded the flight again

Bomb threat on Moscow-Goa flight a hoax