Dubai flight delayed after hoax terror call
A suspected family feud grounded a Dubai-bound Emirates flight carrying 356 passengers at the Mumbai airport for more than four hours on Sunday.mumbai Updated: Feb 08, 2010 01:01 IST
A suspected family feud grounded a Dubai-bound Emirates flight carrying 356 passengers at the Mumbai airport for more than four hours on Sunday.
Around 9.50 am, minutes before the flight EK505 was to take off, the airline’s office received an anonymous call claiming that Shahbaz Khan, a 50-year-old passenger on board, was a Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operative. The flight had begun taxiing when the air traffic control asked the pilot to return to the parking bay.
All the passengers were offloaded. “Khan and his wife were handed over to the security agencies and other travellers were taken to the transit lounge,” said a Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) spokesperson.
An Emirates spokesperson confirmed the incident. “The flight was delayed for four hours as full security procedures were activated, including thorough screening of the aircraft, passengers, and baggage.”
The police now suspect that Khan’s son, Arif, made the call to prevent his father from leaving the country owing to a property dispute. Investigating officer S. Heramb said: “We have called Khan’s entire family to find out if a family feud was the motive behind the call.”
Khan, who lives with his family at Modi Street in Fort, was being interrogated at the time of going to press.
Last year, the MRA Marg police station had arrested Arif for forging property documents and attempting to take charge of two buildings owned by his father. Sanjeev Kokil, senior police inspector, MRA Marg police station, said, “I suspect that Shahbaz’s son Arif might have made the crank call.”