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Two Indians arrested at US airport

Two Indians flying from Atlanta have been detained for carrying knives due to the fear of terrorism.

india Updated: Nov 03, 2007 03:51 IST

Two Mumbai-bound Indians flying from Atlanta were apprehended for carrying folding and steak knives in their carry-on baggage just as the flight was about leave but FBI said it was not a case of terrorism.

Chhaganbhai Patel, 60, was found carrying a double bladed folding knife, 20 steak knives and razor blades, hidden in the battery compartment of a toy car, during a regular screening at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta.

On questioning, the security officials found that he had a companion Shakarabhai Patel, 64, who was also pulled out of the plane. A search of baggage revealed that he was carrying a box cutter and $5000 in cash.

The duo had planned to take a connecting flight from New York to Mumbai.

Federal officials questioned the two but did not file changes but media reports said they could be deported.

"We did not get any indication that they had planned to commit any overt act in the plane. We are deferring to local charges," an FBI spokesman said.

The flight was delayed by about five hours as all passengers were asked to deplane and screened afresh in the October 25 incident.

The two men were on Thursday put in custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement as their visas had expired which indicated that they might be deported.

However, currently, Chhaganbhai has been charged with misdemeanor for carrying concealed weapons and his companion faces felony charges for having prohibited items near or on the plane.

First Published: Nov 02, 2007 12:28 IST