Nagaland: Air Car Airline services cancelled, penalty for flying with Rs 3.5 crore in old notes!
Dimapur, Dec 22: A private charter, Air Car Airline's services has been cancelled after one of its aircraft was rented to fly a Nagaland businessman with Rs 3.5 crore in demonetised currency from Haryana's Hisar to Dimapur in Nagaland on November 22.
The currency notes taken onboard the flight belonged to a Nagaland business, Anato Zhimomi, son-in-law of former chief minister, Neiphiu Rio, who now represents the Nagaland People's Front in the Lok Sabha.
A report from TOI, files that, Air Car chief Manav Singh sent a statement which read: "The passengers on the flight to Dimapur are neither known to me, nor to any of my staff. Our operations department had taken clearance from the Haryana Institute of Civil Aviation (HICA) and it is HICA's responsibility to provide police for security."
The pilot found "some demonetised currency in the passenger's bag, but the amount was not known. The passenger provided the pilot I-T declarations and personal declarations that the money was tax paid/exempted and they were to deposit it in their bank at Dimapur. Our view also is that we have no authority to question a person's belongings as long as they do not compromise aircraft safety," the statement added.
The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has cancelled the "security programme" of Air Car Airline Pvt Ltd, a mandatory clearance without which no charter can fly. This firm step was taken as it felt that the pilots should have informed the air traffic control (ATC) in Dimapur because they had checked the bags in Hisar and knew about the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 in the passenger's bags and yet were tight lipped on that day.
The airline comes to the pilot's defence by stating that he had to "go to toilet" (on arrival) and therefore could not inform the ATC to which BCAS did not buy.
There have been several cases post-demonetisation in which people rented charter planes from small airfields without proper security checks to ferry old notes. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation then made it mandatory for pilots operating from small airfields to check baggage under police supervision before taking off.
(Featured Image Source: Internet/ Representational)