- Four AISATS staffers and an Indian passenger bound for the UK were arrested at the Delhi airport by CISF personnel for their alleged involvement in a human trafficking racket, a senior officer said Thursday.
The company said it had suspended the staffers and that it was part of the operation to unearth this crime.
- The incident took place on Wednesday at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport when the activities of a passenger, supposed to fly to Birmingham on an Air India flight, were found suspicious, the officer said.
- The security personnel scanned CCTV footage and found that immigration officials first refused to allow the passenger as his travel documents were “doubtful” and they asked him to come back with airline officials for clarification, a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) spokesperson said.
- The passenger, however, did not go to the airline staff but approached an AISATS staffer, he said.
- It was found that efforts were made to onboard the passenger and two others using “wrong or invalid” documents by AISATS staffers from the crew check-in counter, the spokesperson said.
- AISATS is a 50-50 joint venture between Air India Limited (a part of the TATA Group) and SATS Limited and its staffers render services like ramp handling, load control, flight operations, baggage handling, and other aircraft services.
- Four AISATS staffers identified as Rohan Verma, Mohammad Jahangir, Yash, and Akshay Narang along with the passenger named Diljot Singh were handed over to Delhi Police who later booked a case against them, he said.
- “AISATS was part of an operation to uncover and prevent a human trafficking racket operating at the Delhi airport in collaboration with the Delhi Airport Authority and CISF on December 27, 2023.” “Three individuals attempted to illegally migrate, and one of them was apprehended during the operation,” AISATS CEO Sanjay Gupta said in a statement.
- He said the staff involved in supporting the illegal activities were suspended from services and promptly handed over to the Delhi Police for further legal action.
- This looks to be a suspected case of human trafficking as the AISATS staffers told CISF personnel that an amount of ₹ 40,000 per passenger was being charged for letting them board the flight illegally, a senior CISF officer said.
- “As a responsible organization, AISATS remains unwavering in its commitment to maintaining the integrity of our operations, upholding the highest standards of safety, legality, and ethical conduct at all times,” Gupta said.