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Air India’s laxity may hit investigation

delhi Updated: Oct 16, 2011 23:36 IST
Faizan Haider

Air India’s laxity in reporting the theft of more than 3,000 kg of aircraft parts from the airside of Delhi airport is causing problems for the investigating agency. The Air India officials took more than two months to report the theft—the FIR was filed in the last week of September.

Sources in police said that Air India officials got to know of the theft in the second week of June, however, they did not report the matter to the police.

“They were conducting an internal enquiry; this delay can prove costly. Air India has accepted in its complaint that they carried out an internal enquiry before filing the complaint to police,” a senior police officer requesting anonymity said.

Along with the complaint, Air India has also submitted the internal enquiry’s report with the police.

“They were unable to find anything concrete in their enquiry. We have asked them (Air India) to provide us the names of the godown’s custodian. Such large scale theft can’t take place without the help of an insider. The godown’s custodian is the most important link here,” he added.

The theft was discovered on June 15, when a senior Air India official opened the first godown.

“The material which was stolen was received by an assistant manager of Air India between December 2010 and March 2011. No one checked the godown since then till it was opened on June 15. Suspecting theft from other godowns, another room was inspected and we found parts were missing from there, too,” an Air India officer said.

The keys of these rooms are kept in the respective sections and the main keys of these sections are kept at the security gate at close of working hours, as per prevailing practice. Air India, in its complaint, said that the stolen items were bulky and heavy and could not have been transported by an individual.

“We are interrogating 3-4 suspects and arrests would be made soon. The items will be recovered after the arrest only,” police said.