DGCA official held in pilot licence scam

Police claim to have busted racket; pilot arrested, conduit on the run

DGCA official held in pilot licence scam

Investigations into the fake pilot licence scam made further progress with the Delhi Police arresting a senior official of the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and three others, including a pilot.

Following the arrests, the Delhi Police claimed that a racket involved in forged marksheets to help pilots procure licences has been smashed. “We have smashed this gang. We are looking for three pilots and a conduit of the racket who is a flying instructor in Mumbai who are on the run,” Ashok Chand, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), told reporters here.

With these arrests, the Crime Branch of the city police has arrested six people, including three pilots, in connection with the case of pilots procuring licences using forged marksheets.

Three pilots and a conduit of the gang are still on the run while another pilot has joined the investigations.

The arrested include Pradeep Kumar (48), presently an assistant director with the DGCA, Pradeep Tyagi (35), a pilot who helped others to procure fake marksheets, and his two associates Pankaj Jain (23) and Lalit Jain (34). They were arrested between March 23 and 25 in Delhi and Chennai.

Pankaj and Pradeep Jain were arrested in the capital on Friday while Lalit was held in Chennai on March 24. Tyagi was arrested at Rohini here on March 23. Tyagi had himself obtained commercial pilot licence in June 2010 through forged result card and fudged flying hour.

“Tyagi is the main person of the racket. One Deepak Asatkar of Mumbai is a conduit of the gang. The pilots have paid Rs 12 lakh each for the forged marksheets to get licences. A sum of Rs 25,000 was given to Kumar by Tyagi for expediting their files,” Chand said.

The arrests came following investigations into a complaint filed by the DGCA claiming that some pilots had procured licences using forged marksheets. The first to be apprehended was suspended Indigo pilot Parminder Kaur Gulati on March 8 and J K Verma of Air India four days later.

Court stay

Meenakshi Sehgal of Indigo, another suspect, has obtained a court order preventing her arrest though she has been asked to join the investigations. However, pilots Swaran Singh Talwar of MDLR and Syed Habib Ali and Bhupinder Singh, who have licences but have not joined any airline, are still on the run.

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