Journo in CBI eye for fudging airport access passes

Journo in CBI eye for fudging airport access passes

A Delhi-based journalist and Chief Security Officer of a private aviation firm are under CBI probe for suspected illegal financial transactions and obtaining access passes for entering airports by furnishing false documents.

After registering a case on May 1, officials said on Thursday, investigators carried out searches in eight locations in Delhi, Mumbai, Noida and Lucknow on information that journalist Upendra Rai allegedly received around Rs 1.02 crore from Air One Aviation Pvt Ltd in four instalments in 2017.

According to the FIR, Rai's bank accounts received Rs 79 crore going by the value of transactions above Rs one lakh during 2017, while Rs 78.51 crore was debited from it during the same period. He is accused of purchasing a fleet of cars out of the ill-gotten money.

Besides, the FIR claimed, he also received Rs 16 crore in a year from shell companies, for bribing and fixing cases in Income Tax department. "He also received Rs 6.5 crore from Sahara India in one year," the FIR stated.

The FIR also names Air One's Chief Security Officer Prasun Roy and unnamed officials of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) for aiding the former to get access passes to airports.

It is claimed that Rai in criminal conspiracy with Roy and others cheated the BCAS and the Delhi International Airport (DIAL) and "obtained, fraudulently and dishonestly" temporary and permanent Aerodrome Entry Pass (AEP).

National security at stake

While he was not an employee of Air One, it is alleged that he initially got temporary passes to access Delhi airport. Later, he also got a permanent pass to enter all airports in the country by providing false information, "thus jeopardising the national security".

The company proposed his name for the pass citing that he was Quality Control Director, while his name was not approved by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for the post.

"The source has further informed us that in his application for issuance of Press Information Bureau card for the year 2018, the journalist had not declared himself as a bonafide employee i.e consultant or director, Quality Control of Air One," the FIR claimed.