Arms-laden UAE plane takes off for China


The detained cargo plane of UAE's Air Force in which arms and ammunition were found took off for China's Xianyang city on Thursday after being grounded in Kolkata for four days.

The China-bound plane was detained here for not declaring the consignment it was carrying. Airport sources said the airplane carrying 10 crew members, including the pilot, took off at 9.30 am.  A defence spokesman said here that the clearance for the plane was received from the Air Headquarters late last night.

The External Affairs Ministry had last night given the green signal to the Ministry of Defence and Customs authorities that the C-130 Hercules plane could be allowed to leave the NSC Bose International Airport.

The aircraft was grounded here since Sunday evening and its crew members interrogated.
The Indian government gave the clearance after it was told by UAE authorities that its pilot had committed a "technical error" over declaring the on-board arms and ammunition for which they expressed regret.

The External Affairs Ministry had said in a statement that the matter will be resolved in the spirit of the close and friendly ties between India and the UAE.

The statement said the UAE authorities both in New Delhi and Abu Dhabi have since formally regretted the omission in clearly indicating items carried by the aircraft and have described it as a "technical error." The plane, which had originated from UAE capital Abu Dhabi, had made a scheduled transit halt here for refuelling on Sunday when the consignment was detected.

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