Tamil Nadu

Delhi man arrested at Coimbatore airport for carrying suspected explosive substance

A front view of Coimbatore International Airport. File photograph used for representational purposes only   | Photo Credit: PERIASAMY M

The Peelamedu police on Sunday arrested a 31-year-old man from Delhi who was found carrying a powdered substance, that had suspected traces of an explosive category substance, at the Coimbatore International Airport on Saturday.

Varun Arora, who hails from Chattarpur in South Delhi, was arrested for offences under Section 5 (punishment for making or possessing explosives under suspicious circumstances) of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.

The police said that Arora was stopped by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel at the Coimbatore airport where he came to board a flight to Mumbai at 1.25 p.m. on Saturday. His luggage was passed through the X-Ray Baggage Inspection System (XBIS) which showed the presence of a heavy density material. When checked, the luggage had seven packets of a powder-like material in black, grey and brown colours. One of the dogs that sniffed the substance gave a negative indication.

Though the passenger claimed that he was carrying semi-processed raw materials, he did not have proper documents for them.

The CISF said, in its complaint, that there seemed to be a high probability that the powder in question, 2.5 kg in total, may belong to some kind of explosive category substance, the police said. The CISF stopped the man from boarding the flight and reported the incident to the Peelamedu police.

Arora was taken to the Peelamedu station where senior officials questioned him and examined the substance he was carrying.

“The man told us that he runs an industry in Himachal Pradesh which deals with metals, and the powder-like substance in the luggage was a type of ore which he imported from Cambodia. He claimed that he had come to Coimbatore to subject the ore to certain tests to ascertain the amount of metals like lead, copper and gold in it,” said a police officer.

The bomb detection and disposal squad of the police also checked the substance with a vapour detector and a sniffer dog was pressed into service.

According to the police, suspected presence of an explosive category substance was detected in the powder and he was arrested on Sunday. He was produced before a magistrate and remanded in judicial custody.

The police will seek the court’s permission to send samples from the seven packets for an examination to a government-run laboratory.

The investigation by the police found that Varoa flew from Delhi to Kochi in November and his luggage was screened at both airports. But no prohibited item was detected in his luggage. After halting in Kochi for a few days, he travelled to Tiruchi and then to Coimbatore. “He claimed that he took the ore to a testing facility at Thiyagi Kumaran Street in the city. He was stopped by the CISF at the airport when he was about to board a flight to Mumbai on Saturday afternoon,” said the police officer.


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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 10:31:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/delhi-man-arrested-at-coimbatore-airport-for-carrying-suspected-explosive-substance/article37861988.ece

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