Fake flying license scam: Four arrested

New Delhi: A senior official of airline regulator DGCA and three others, including a pilot, were arrested with Delhi Police on Saturday claiming that it has smashed a racket involved in forging marksheets to help pilots procure licences.

With these arrests, the Crime Branch of the city police have arrested six persons, including three pilots, in connection with the case of pilots procuring licences using forged marksheets.

Three pilots and a conduit of the gang are still on the run while another pilot has joined investigations.

"We have smashed this gang. We are looking for three pilots and a conduit of the racket who is a flying instructor in Mumbai who are on the run," Ashok Chand, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime), told reporters here.

Pradeep Kumar (48), presently an Assistant Director with the DGCA, Pradeep Tyagi (35), a pilot who helped others to procure fake marksheets, and his two associates Pankaj Jain (23) and Lalit Jain (34) were arrested between March 23 and yesterday from Delhi and Chennai.

Pankaj and Pradeep Jain were arrested from the capital yesterday while Lalit was arrested from Chennai on March 24.

Tyagi was arrested from Rohini here on March 23.

Tyagi had himself obtained commercial pilot licence in June 2010 through forged result card and fudged flying hour.

"Tyagi is the main person of the racket. One Deepak Asatkar of Mumbai is a conduit of the gang. The pilots have paid Rs 12 lakh each for the forged marksheets to get licences. Rs 25,000 was given to Kumar by Tyagi for expediting their files," Chand said.

The arrests came following investigations into a complaint filed by Directorate General of Civil Aviation claiming that some pilots had procured licences using forged marksheets. The first to be apprehended was suspended Indigo pilot Parminder Kaur Gulati on March 8 and J K Verma of Air India four days later.

Meenakshi Sehgal of Indigo, another suspect, has obtained a court order preventing her arrest though she has been asked to join investigations.

However, pilots Swaran Singh Talwar of MDLR and Syed Habib Ali and Bhupinder Singh, who have licences but have not joined any airline, are still on the run.

The pilots had allegedly procured Airlines Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) using fake documents. "One has to clear three subjects — Aviation Meteorology, Radio Aids & Instruments and Air Navigation — to get ATPL, mandatory for becoming a Commander of a plane. However, these pilots failed in one or the other papers," he said.

Elaborating on the investigations, Chand said Verma had approached Asatkar, who is a former flying instructor at a Mumbai-based flying school and resides in Andheri, and linked him with Tyagi.

"Tyagi with the help of Lalit and Pankaj provided Verma the forged marksheets. Tyagi kept Rs six lakh with him while give Rs one lakh each to Lalit and Pankaj. The DGCA official was given Rs 25,000," Chand said. Gulati knew Tyagi from 1994 and got in touch with him for the forged marksheets.

"Tyagi had since 2008 developed contacts in DGCA for smooth processing of the papers for grant of licences to the pilots who had engaged him for this purpose," he said.

Tyagi joined the Delhi Flying Club in 1994 and obtained his student licence in 2000 from Karnal. Thereafter he started a cardboard manufacturing unit in Sadiq Nagar in Uttar Pradesh.

The DGCA official completed his diploma in Electronic Engineering from Meerut. and joined DGCA in 1992 as a Junior Technical Assistant. At present he is working as Assistant Director in the Directorate of Aircraft Engineering.

Lalit did flying from Pinjore and Baroda and later joined his father in his family business of Hardware and Sanitary. He is married and has two sons.

Pankaj initially worked as receptionist in a hospital in Noida and also worked with a bank as a marketing executive.

He is also an insurance advisor with a LIC.