A-I probes liquor theft from PM's aircraft
The alleged pilferage occured when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was on an official visit to Germany in April this year.india Updated: Jul 11, 2006 17:47 IST
Air India's vigilance department is investigating the alleged pilferage of liquor bottles from the Prime Minister's Special Aircraft by the airline staff during a flight abroad, official sources said on Tuesday.
The alleged pilferage occurred when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was on an official visit to Germany in April this year.
Security agencies reported the pilferage of liquor bottles allegedly by the flight crew, including Captain Naresh Kumar Beri.
The agencies said the incident occurred when the Prime Minister was flying to Berlin after attending a Business Summit in Hanover.
The Special Protection Group detected that the seal of one of the cabinets on board was broken. Though nothing was planted there, some bottles of whisky were found missing.
Taking strong exception to the delay in vigilance probe by Air India, Civil Aviation Secretary Ajay Prasad has taken the management to task for the "serious security lapse that took place on a VVIP flight in April 2006".
In a letter to Air India, he also castigated the management for not sending a note on the issue to the Ministry even after two months of the incident, saying this "is indicative of the fact that such matters are not taken seriously by the Air India management".
Airline sources said the vigilance report would be available shortly and "stern action" would be taken accordingly.