This Article is From Mar 28, 2011

'Fake pilots' scam: Police issue lookout notice against 4

'Fake pilots' scam: Police issue lookout notice against 4
New Delhi: Intensifying its probe into the 'fake pilots' scam, the Delhi Police has issued a lookout notice against three pilots and a flying instructor to ensure that they have not fled the country.

The lookout notices were issued by the Delhi Police's crime branch against pilots Swaran Singh Talwar of MDLR, Syed Habib Ali and Bhupinder Singh for allegedly being involved in forging mark sheets to procure flying licences, a senior police official said today. The three persons possess licences but have not joined any airline, the official said.

A similar notice has also been issued against flying instructor D Asatkar, the official added.

"All airports and ports have also been put on high alert," he said, as agencies concerned conducted raids to nab the four persons.

"We are conducting raids across the country to nab the three pilots and the flying instructor," he said, adding that during interrogation an arrested DGCA official told them he had processed files relating to around 60 licences in the past couple of years.

The pilots had allegedly procured Airlines Transport Pilot Licences (ATPL) using fake documents. "One has to clear three subjects - Aviation Meteorology, Radio Aids and Instruments and Air Navigation - to get ATPL, which is mandatory for becoming a Commander of a plane. However, these pilots failed in one or the other papers," the official said.

A senior official of the airline regulator DGCA and three others, including a pilot, were arrested on Saturday with Delhi Police claiming that it has smashed a racket involved in forging mark sheets to help pilots procure licences.

The Crime Branch has so far arrested six persons, including three pilots, in connection with the case of pilots procuring licences using forged mark sheets.

Investigators said that the arrested pilots have told them they had allegedly fudged the logbook and increased the number of flying hours in connivance with some DGCA officials.

Last week, Pradeep Kumar (48), presently an Assistant Director with the DGCA, was arrested with Pradeep Tyagi (35), a pilot who helped others to procure fake mark sheets, and his two associates Pankaj Jain (23) and Lalit Jain (34) from Delhi and Chennai. Two pilots were arrested early this month.

"Tyagi is the main person of the racket. One Deepak Asatkar of Mumbai is a conduit for the gang. The pilots have paid Rs.12 lakh each for the forged mark sheets to get licences. Rs.25,000 was given to Kumar by Tyagi for expediting their files," the official said.