Police start probe on attempt to sabotage Anil Ambani’s chopper

April 24th, 2009 - 3:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, April 24 (IANS) The Mumbai police have begun a probe into the possible bid to sabotage a helicopter owned by industrialist Anil Ambani’s group but have found no leads so far, investigating officers said Friday.
“We are still investigating the matter and questioning the people concerned with the helicopter’s maintenance,” said Senior Inspector S.M. Ghuge of the Santacruz Airport Police Station.

“We shall initiate appropriate proceedings, including arresting them, only after getting proper evidence,” Ghuge told IANS. The police got into action after receiving a complaint that some pebbles and mud were discovered in the chopper’s fuel tank, which could have jeopardised its safety.

A senior official of Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) said the seven-seater Bell 412 helicopter was for non-scheduled operations and belonged to the Anil Ambani group. “We are in no way connected with their regular operations, or any other issue,” the official said.

According to him, several private operators use the hangars at the southern end of the airport, which are maintained and looked after by private contractors.

Several corporate houses also have their own private hangars for parking and maintenance of their aircraft. Those who don’t own a hangar utilise the services of private parties who offer them on contract, the official explained.

“It is very difficult for us to say who are the persons having authorised access to such sensitive areas.”

Airport officials and police went into a tizzy Thursday evening after they received a complaint that the VT-RCL Bell 412 helicopter belonging to the Anil Ambani group had been allegedly broken into with a bid to sabotage its operation.

A spokesman for Air Works India Engineering, which is responsible for the maintenance of the helicopter, told IANS that a technician discovered that the chopper was tampered with after he noticed that the oil tank valve cap was not fitted properly.

The engineers then checked the helicopter thoroughly to discover pebbles, small stones and mud in the fuel tank. They said if the incident had gone undetected, it could have led to a disaster while in flight.

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