In a serious breach of security, a passenger landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) here on board an Air India AI-925 flight from Riyadh on Wednesday without any travel documents, passport or a boarding card, sending the airport officials and security agencies into a tizzy.
Informed sources at the airport told The Hindu that the passenger, who seems to be mentally unstable, has been identified as Mohammad Khalil.
“The individual has been giving different names. Sometimes he states he is Mohammad Khalil and sometimes he says he is Ahmed Khalil. We have also checked all the records, including flight records and he figures nowhere.
The gate number 26 CCTV footage viewed by the various agencies indicates that he had indeed disembarked from AI 925 and walked into immigration. There were a total of 86 passengers who had disembarked and 27 were transit passengers. All the 86 boarding cards have been accounted for. Air India and immigration authorities are at a loss to decide further course of action,’’ said a senior airport official, who did not want to be named.
Officials said interrogation of the passenger did not reveal anything significant except for the fact that he boarded the flight in Riyadh.
It appears that the authorities there were not able to detect his entry into the airport and then into the security and boarding area. Similarly, Air India staff also failed to detect him when he boarded the flight.
The authorities on Thursday reportedly called the Saudi Arabia Embassy officials to the airport to identify him. However, they came to the conclusion that he was not a Saudi national.
Similarly, on Friday, the Yemenese Embassy staff were asked to come and identify the individual but nothing much came out of it.
Immigration officials have asked the Air India management to send the passenger back as they had brought him “unofficially” into India.
However, Air India reportedly, refused, stating that it would be imposed a hefty fine by the authorities in Riyadh if they undertook such an exercise.
The matter is still under investigation and the authorities are unable to still establish the “true” identity of the passenger or determine his nationality.
A detailed query e-mailed to Air India by The Hindu failed to elicit any response.