One more pilot was arrested in the national capital for allegedly using forged marksheets to procure a licence from country's airline regulator, taking the total number of such arrests to seven.
Avinav Kaushik, belonging to private airline Indigo, was apprehended here recently following investigations into a complaint filed by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) that he forged marksheets to obtain a licence, a senior Delhi police official said on Monday.
With this, the Delhi Police has arrested seven persons, including four pilots, in this connection. Two other pilots were arrested last month by the police in Jaipur in a similar case.
Lookout notices have been issued against pilots Swaran Singh Talwar of MDLR, Syed Habib Ali and Bhupinder Singh and a flying instructor D Asatkar, who are on the run in connection with the case.
The pilots had allegedly procured Airlines Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) using fake documents. "One has to clear three subjects -- Aviation Meteorology, Radio Aids and Instruments and Air Navigation -- to get ATPL, mandatory for becoming a Commander of a plane. However, these pilots failed in one or the other paper," the official said.
Delhi Police on March 26 had claimed that it had cracked the gang involved in helping pilots obtain licences using forged documents with the arrest of a senior official of DGCA and three others, including a pilot.
Pradeep Kumar (48), presently an assistant director with the DGCA, Pradeep Tyagi (35), a pilot who helped others procure fake marksheets, and his two associates Pankaj Jain (23) and Lalit Jain (34) were arrested from Delhi and Chennai last week. Two pilots were arrested early last month.
"Tyagi is the main person behind the racket. Asatkar of Mumbai is a conduit of the gang. The pilots have paid Rs 12 lakh (Rs 1.2 million) each for the forged marksheets to get licences. Rs 25,000 was given to Kumar by Tyagi for expediting their files," the official said.
In the wake of reports of pilots using forged marksheets, licences of 3,000 to 4,000 pilots are being scrutinised by the DGCA.