Police on Wednesday said a man who posed as a Lufthansa pilot so that he could enjoy quick boarding and upgrades has been arrested in New Delhi.
Deputy Commissioner of police, Sanjay Bhatia, said Rajan Mahbubani, 48, was wearing a Lufthansa airlines pilot’s uniform and was carrying a fake ID card when he was detained at the airport in the Indian capital.
Mahbubani was detained at the departure gate of a flight to Kolkata after the chief security officer of Lufthansa at IGI Airport reported a suspicious movement of a passenger in the uniform of Lufthansa airlines.
According to the police, Mahbubani revealed during interrogation that he was a frequent traveller and would wear the pilot’s uniform to escape queues and the longer screening process for normal passengers.
The police added that Mahbubani said he always uses the passage reserved for airline crew members and sometimes he would get his seat upgraded.
“He revealed he had used the fake ID numerous times over the past six months.’’
Bhatia however, said a criminal case has been registered against him and further investigation is ongoing.
He added that Mahbubani, who runs a training and consultancy firm, was fond of wearing uniforms of different professions and getting photographed or got videos made which he shared on social media.
“There was a picture of him in an Indian Army colonel’s uniform on his phone.’’
Edited by Hadiza Mohammed (NAN)/Ifeyinwa Omowole
Toxic alcohol death toll crosses 100 in India as 30 arrested
The death toll from poisoning linked to toxic liquor in India’s northern state of Punjab rose to 105 on Monday even as police carried out a crackdown on the illicit alcohol trade in the region.
Poor farmers and workers fell ill after drinking the alcohol across three districts, and the first deaths were reported last Wednesday.
The toll soared from 21 on Friday after families reported deaths to administration officials over the weekend, in what has become the country’s worst bootleg alcohol incident this year.
Eighty people died in the Tarn Taran district over the past five days, senior official Kulwant Singh said.
Twenty-five deaths were confirmed in nearby Amritsar and Batala, state police said.
In a crackdown, police conducted dozens of raids across villages to arrest 30 bootleggers and smashed illegal distilleries while seizing thousands of litres of tainted liquor.
Initial investigations revealed the liquor contained methanol, which can cause blindness and death when consumed in large amounts.
The Punjab government has suspended seven excise officials and six police officials even as opposition parties accused ruling party leaders of “patronising (the) spurious liquor trade.”
An average of 1,000 people die in India each year after consuming illegally distilled alcohol, government data shows.
The liquor is usually made with poor-quality ingredients and sometimes mixed with industrial alcohol and toxic substances.
A total of 151 people, mostly tea-plantation workers, died after drinking toxic alcohol last year in one of the worst cases of liquor poisoning in India in recent years.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
India extends suspension of int’l flights till end of August
India on Friday extended the ban on international flights till Aug. 31, said an official statement.
However, travel will take place under the “travel bubbles” which the country has created with some countries like Germany, the United States and France, added the statement.
A statement issued by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said, “The government has decided to extend the suspension on the scheduled international commercial passenger services to/from India up to August 31. However, the restriction shall not apply to international cargo operations, and flights specifically approved by the DGCA.”
India had suspended the scheduled international passenger flights on March 22 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Growth rate of index of 8 core industries declines by 15 pct in June
The growth rate of index of eight core industries for June 2020 in India declined by 15 percent in the wake of nationwide lockdown that was imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19, data revealed by India’s federal ministry of commerce and industry Friday said.
This is the fourth consecutive contraction in the eight key infrastructure sectors of the economy.
“The growth rate of index of eight core industries for June 2020 declined by 15.0 percent (provisional) compared to decline of 22.0 percent (revised) in the previous month of May 2020. Its cumulative growth during April to June, 2020-21 was minus 24.6 percent,” a statement issued by the ministry said.
The decline is attributed to the loss in production Coal, Cement, Steel, Natural Gas, Refinery, Crude Oil and electricity due to the lockdown. Only fertilisers recorded positive growth.
According to the ministry, the final growth rate of index of eight core industries for March 2020 is revised at minus 8.6 percent.
The eight core industries comprise 40.27 percent of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
A nationwide lockdown imposed on March 25 is underway in India to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The move has badly hit the Indian economy and resulted in the loss of jobs.
Vietnam registers 1st death of COVID-19 as Philippines, India, Japan’s Tokyo see record number of daily cases
Vietnam registered its first COVID-19 death on Friday amid a resurgence of infections in the country, while the Philippines, India and Japan’s Tokyo confirmed record numbers of daily cases.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed that a 70-year-old Vietnamese man died of COVID-19, which is the country’s first death from the disease, Vietnam News Agency reported.
The patient, with a history of heart failure and pneumonia, tested positive for COVID-19 on July 26 and died in the early morning on Friday, according to the news agency.
After going through over three months without any local transmission, Vietnam has seen a number of infections in the community since July 25.
Fiji also reported its first death from COVID-19 infection on the same day. Health Minister Ifereimi Waqainabete said a 66-year-old Fijian man, who had a history of cardiac problems and returned from India early July, died on Thursday in the hospital in Lautoka, Fiji’s second-largest city.
The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surged to 93,354 after the Department of Health (DOH) reported 4,063 new cases, the largest single-day increase since the highly-infectious disease emerged in the country in January.
India also recorded the highest ever single-day spike with 55,078 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the total tally to 1,638,870, according to the federal health ministry. This is the second consecutive day when fresh COVID-19 cases have increased by more than 50,000.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike confirmed 463 new COVID-19 infections in the capital, with the figure marking a new record daily increase, eclipsing the previous single-day record of 367 on Thursday.
Australia recorded the second-highest daily cases while the death toll is on the brink of surpassing 200, with a total number of 196 deaths and 651 new cases during the last 24 hours.
This is the second-largest daily number in the country after Thursday’s record of 747, according to the update from Michael Kidd, the Australian government deputy chief medical officer.
According to the federal government, hundreds of workers from the Pacific are set to be allowed to enter Australia to help farmers harvest crops despite border closures.
A COVID-19 candidate vaccine developed in South Australia (SA) has cleared the first phase of testing, according to local media’s report.
Bangladesh reported 2,772 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to over 237,000. Nasima Sultana, a senior Health Ministry official, said in a briefing that 28 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.
Malaysia reported another 12 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the national total to 8,976. Health Ministry Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement that five of the cases are imported and seven more are local transmissions.
The COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 2,040 within one day to 108,376, with the death toll adding by 73 to 5,131, the Health Ministry said.
New Zealand reported no new cases of COVID-19, with the number of active cases in the country standing at 20, all in managed isolation facilities, according to the Ministry of Health.
South Korea reported 36 more cases compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 14,305.