One more fake pilot arrested (Lead)

April 4th, 2011 - 8:39 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 4 (IANS) One more pilot was arrested for obtaining a licence on forged documents, Delhi Police said Monday. He is the seventh pilot to be arrested in the scam.

“The pilot has been identified as Abhinav Kaushik from IndiGo airline. He has been arrested Friday for forging his marksheet to obtain a commercial pilot license,” said a senior police officer.

Kaushik was held following investigations into a complaint filed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) that he forged marksheets to obtain a licence.

Delhi Police issued a lookout notice March 28 against three pilots and a flying instructor for forging marksheets to procure pilot licences.

Notices were issued against pilots Swaran Singh Talwar of MDLR, and Syed Habib Ali and Bhupinder Singh, who have licences but have not joined any airline.

A lookout notice has also been issued against flying instructor D. Asatkar.

The pilots had allegedly procured Airlines Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) using fake documents.

Police issued lookout notices to prevent them from fleeing the country. All airports and ports have been put on high alert. Police are conducting searches across the country to nab them.

With Kaushik’s arrest, Delhi Police have so far arrested seven people, including a DGCA official, for their involvement in the fake pilots scam.

Pradeep Kumar, 48, an assistant director with aviation regulator DGCA, Pradeep Tyagi, 35, the pilot who helped others to procure fake marksheets, and his two associates Pankaj Jain, 23, and Lalit Jain, 34, were arrested between March 22 and March 25 from Delhi and Chennai.

Pankaj Jain and Pradeep Kumar were arrested from the capital March 25, while Lalit Jain was arrested from Chennai March 24. Tyagi was picked up from Rohini in Delhi March 23.

During interrogation, Pradeep Kumar told police that he had processed files for around 60 licences in the past couple of years.

Tyagi had arranged for a forged result card through Lalit and Pankaj in east Delhi after paying them Rs.1 lakh. He also paid about Rs.25,000 to Pradeep Kumar, the DGCA official, for ensuring that there was no hitch in processing the papers, police said.

During investigation, it was found that Tyagi had obtained commercial pilot licence through forged documents and fudged flying hours in June 2010. Since 2008, he developed contacts in the DGCA for smooth processing of the papers and for grant of licences to the pilots who approached him.

Tyagi had helped pilots Parminder Kaur Gulati, Meenakshi Sehgal, J.K. Verma, Swaran Singh Talwar, Syed Habib Ali and Bhupender Singh in obtaining licences on the basis of forged documents.

Pradeep Tyagi charged Rs.6 lakh, of which he normally paid Rs.1 lakh to Lalit and Pankaj for preparing forged result cards, and Rs.20,000-25,000 to Pradeep (Kumar), police said.

The first to be arrested were suspended IndiGo pilot Parminder Kaur Gulati March 8 and J.K. Verma of Air India four days later.

Meenakshi Sehgal of IndiGo, another suspect, has obtained a court order preventing her arrest, though she has been asked to cooperate in investigations.

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