Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 week ago | 22-06-2022 | 06:00 am
The case of a foreign traveller who was robbed by people posing as Customs officers at the Ahmedabad airport is turning murky. Discrepancies have emerged over how many gold biscuits were actually taken from the victim, how many had he mentioned in his application to the police, how many did the police register in its FIR, and finally how many were actually recovered from the arrested accused.In his application to the police, the victim had stated that he was robbed of eight gold biscuits by the impersonators, but the FIR mentions that he was robbed of only one gold biscuit weighing 100 gm. However, as per the police, they have recovered 552 gm gold from the seven accused arrested.Given the multiplicity of the versions by the victim, the accused and the police, only a high level investigation will bring out the truth and expose any shady dealings.Airport police sources said that Mohammed Faizal, originally from UP and working at Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, had landed in Ahmedabad on June 7 morning. He cleared immigration, Customs and security and exited Terminal 2 where his friend Abdul Ahad received him.Just as the two were about to board an auto-rickshaw, they were stopped by three men carrying walkie talkies. They claimed to be Customs officers. As per initial information, Faizal was asked to hand over the 2,000 Riyals and one gold biscuit of 100 gm he had concealed in his underwear. They also relieved Ahad of Rs 20,000 and a mobile phone. The two men were then threatened with a 10-year jail sentence before leaving.Faizal had in his application to the airport police stated that he was robbed of eight gold biscuits by the impersonators.Airport police checked the CCTV footage of the area where the robbery took place as well as the auto-rickshaw parking from which Faizal identified one person. During investigation, he turned out to be Rutvik Rathod, who worked for Namaste-G company which handles security at the airport. He was arrested.After interrogation, other employees of Namaste-G, Jitendra Tomar, Prakash Maheriya, Santosh Maurya, Roshan Giri, Keval Vyas and one other person, Shashikant Tiwari, were arrested.Further interrogation revealed that Shashikant Tiwari was going to sell the gold to one Puneet Tiwari in Delhi. Police are yet to track downthe latter.Unanswered questionsTop level sources at the airport said that many questions remain unanswered in the entire matter. If there is a proper, high level inquiry, then apart from robbery, a gold smuggling network could be unearthed.Strangely, Faizal was not caught by the Customs or Immigration at the airport. On the other hand, sources said that the impersonators were tipped off that he was carrying gold.Airport Police Inspector R R Desai said, “We have asked Faizal to submit a bill for the gold biscuit, but he has not submitted it.” It has been 15 days since the incident, but he has still not produced the bill. So, the pertinent question is, whether it was brought in illegally?Inspector Desai said, “In his application, complainant Mohammed Faizal had stated that eight gold biscuits were stolen. However, he said only one biscuit was stolen when the FIR was registered. When we asked him about this, he said that he had exaggerated his claim, so that the police would work faster. However, from Shashikant Tiwari, we recovered 552 gm of gold powder from a plastic bag. We are also investigating the smuggling angle along with the loot.”Sources in the security agency of the airport said, “There is a possibility of gold smuggling in this case.”On their part, Customs sources said, “Faizal was handed an underwear with 8 gold biscuits weighing 116 gms each at Kuwait airport. When he landed in Ahmedabad, photos of him and his passport were shared with the impersonators. On the basis of this, the impersonators stopped and robbed them. They were targeting those who were smuggling gold into the country. A large network can be busted if a high level and thorough investigation takes place.”Meanwhile, 15 days have passed since the incident, but police are saying that the investigation is still underway.Unless a thorough inquiry is carried out, many questions will remain unanswered.
Customs officials at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) Airport had to literally “dig deeper” to recover drugs from a foreign traveller. The officials detained a 30-year-old Nigerian who arrived from Dubai early on Monday morning after he was suspected of carrying drugs. As many as 95 capsules filled with drugs were recovered from his gut.The Customs officials had kept a watch at the international airport on the basis of information that a passenger on an Emirates flight was carrying drugs worth millions of rupees inhis stomach.The officials intercepted the youth and sent him for an X-ray and CT Scan at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, which revealed that the drug consignment was snug and safe in his large intestine.The man was admitted to the Civil Hospital on Monday, with officials waiting patiently for him to attend nature’s call to recover the 95 capsules.The drug consignment was recovered over four days during the man’s ablutions.The capsules will now be sent for a narco analysis to confirm their content.Officials said the Nigerian landed in Ahmedabad via an Emirates flight. The customs officials following a tip-off lay in wait. They zeroed in on the youth after he acted suspiciously.The accused was questioned and later taken to hospital.Regarding the number of capsules found in the Nigerian’s stomach, the doctors at Civil Hospital had told Customs officials said, “The man must have conducted retrograde insertion (pushing things in the body from the rectum) as it is impossible for anyone to swallow 95 pills each of which was 2.5 inches long and 1 inch wide.”Doctors ruled out surgery as it would have ruptured the intestine and resulted in the death of the accused.Dr Rajnish Patel, Additional Superintendent of Civil Hospital said such capsules can only be taken out through the bowel through defecation. “The youth was given medicines to clean his bowel and the 95 capsules were recovered,” said Patel.
Go-First Airlines will stop its operations from Surat airport from July 1 to August 11 due to inadequate passenger load. Airport sources said Go-First operates flights from Surat to Pune, Bangalore and Delhi, but inadequate passenger load has forced it to suspend flights and it has stopped accepting bookings for the period.A Go-First official said, “The aviation industry is making strenuous efforts to strike a balance after Covid. At such times it is difficult for any airline (to run) if the passenger load is inadequate. Go-First has decided to temporarily halt operations from Surat. It will recommence operations if there is adequate passenger load.”
Adding to the recent spate of bird-hit flights, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath‘s chopper made an emergency landing post one such hit right after take-off. Reports state that officials said that a bird hit the window of the Lucknow-bound helicopter after it took off from the airport. Subsequently, the pilot requested an emergency landing and the chopper landed back safely at Varanasi’s Police Lines Ground.Here’s what to know about bird hits and passenger safetyWhile most bird strikes are manageable, the ones considered critical are collisions that happen with a window or windscreen which might crack the structure. In such cases, pilots look to land as soon as possible. Strikes can be of two types – a small bird, and a big bird, or a flock of birds.Such cases are reported during landing and take-off which can also distract the pilot during the most important stages of the flight. According to Colonel Rajgopalan (retired), founder of Aviation Training India, a company which trains and mentors pilots, “Since modern aircrafts are well-equipped with triple modular redundancy (where if one system goes off, other substitutes), minor bird strikes can be handled by pilots in most instances.”Buy Now | Our best subscription plan now has a special priceWhat happens in case of bird activity?An aircraft has to take off at a particular speed which can’t be reduced due to bird activity, explained Colonel Rajgopalan. “Normally, in case of heavy bird activity, Air Traffic Control itself delays the departure and deploys techniques to scare the birds off like using blow guns which are cylinders of gas that make noise due to the air pressure, or shiny metal ribbons that are tied near runways to scare off birds,” he said.Recently, following the incidences of such bird strikes as well as animal hits on airport runways, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) wrote to States to carry out aerodrome inspections to check on wildlife presence in the nearby areas of airports and runways.“We are all aware that during the monsoon season, wildlife (birds and animals) activity increases in and around airports. The presence of wildlife in the airport vicinity poses a serious threat to aircraft operational safety,” the DGCA noted in its letter to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and private airport operators.According to a previous indianexpress.com report, the top five airports which reported the most wildlife strike incidents in 2021 were Delhi (231), Mumbai (140), Ahmedabad (71), Kolkata (70) and Kochi (56).In its letter, the DGCA asked the airports to ensure that within the airport premises, the grass is trimmed and insecticide is sprayed, in addition to conducting frequent runway inspections for bird activities and deploying bird chasers and bird-scaring devices. It also stated that airports must ensure regular garbage disposal in the operational area and to avoid water concentration and open drains.“All airports are requested to review their wildlife hazard management plan for any gap and ensure strict implementation of strategies for wildlife hazard management within and also outside the airfield,” the DGCA said in its letter.Agreed Colonel Rajgopalan and said that bird activity near airports must be reduced. “The old airports have lots of garbage dumps around them where birds congregate. In foreign countries, there is strict law against garbage dumping areas within a particular radius of the airport. But in India, these laws are not being followed. This is the reason why there is a lot of bird activity near an airport or helipad,” the expert told indianexpress.com.What can passengers do in such times?Mark D Martin, MRAeS, member of Royal Aeronautical Society United Kingdom, CEO of Martin Consulting. Martin Consulting which is an aviation safety firm based in Asia, said that passengers “cannot do much”. “Bird hits are a result of man-animal conflicts, and can occur at any time. Here, passenger cannot really help except trying to maintain calm,” he told indianexpress.com.According to Colonel Rajgopalan, passenger should:*Be alert and if they are sitting close to the emergency exit, they should inform the cabin crew of any fire etc.*Fasten their seatbelts until the seat belt sign comes off.*Listen to the instructions of the crew and follow them.What can helipads and airports do?*Helipads should be made where the approach and departure path should be clear.*Helipads should be devoid of dust. “No dust in the helipad because while landing, so much dust gets kicked up. Sometimes, we are not even able to see if there is any small bird coming,” he said.📣 For more lifestyle news, follow us on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook and don’t miss out on the latest updates!
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday praised NDA’s Presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu for her “understanding of the problems on the ground” and dubbed her vision for India’s development as “extraordinary”.The Prime Minister made the remarks after he met Murmu in New Delhi. After Prime Minister, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also met the NDA’s Presidential candidate.Murmu will also be meeting several Union ministers and veteran leaders before filing her nomination for the post of President on Friday.Sharing pictures of his meeting with Murmu on Twitter, Prime Minister Modi wrote, “Met Smt. Droupadi Murmu Ji. Her Presidential nomination has been appreciated across India by all sections of society. Her understanding of grassroots problems and vision for India’s development is outstanding.”Murmu, who reached the national capital on Thursday, was welcomed at the Delhi airport by Union Ministers Arjun Munda, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Virendra Kumar, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari and BJP’s national media co-in-charge Sanjay Mayukh. Several other BJP leaders and workers were also present at the airport to welcome her.Murmu on Friday will file her nomination for the Presidential election. Prime Minister Modi, BJP President J.P. Nadda, Union ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, and Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states will also be present during her nomination.To make the nomination filing a grand event, the BJP has invited its allies as well as Biju Janata Dal, which has announced its support to Murmu, to attend nomination filing.The Opposition parties have declared Yashwant Sinha as their joint candidate. The election for the next President of the country will be held on July 18 while the result will be declared on July 21.
A mock drill of a purported plane hijack was conducted by National Security Guards (NSG) and other security agencies at Ahmedabad airport on Wednesday.Sources said, to check the emergency response of personnel, a full-scale drill was organised at SVPI airport between 11 am and 1 pm. A terrorist group had hijacked a SpiceJet aircraft and landed it in an open space. Soon after, a blast occurred in an aircraft model resulting in fire, which was extinguished by the fire personnel. NSG, CISF and local police participated in the drill.More than 600 members of airport staff, city police, fire brigade and ambulances from 3 hospitals took part. The exercise was carried out at a time when the aircraft was not flying so as not to disrupt day-to-day operations of the airport. AM