Singapore Airlines Plane

SINGAPORE: India’s paramilitary forces apprehended a man in a pilot’s uniform on Thursday (Apr 25) at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Sangeet Singh, a 24-year-old man from Gautam Buddha Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, was wearing a fake ID around his neck that said he was employed by Singapore Airlines.

Singh had attended a one-year aviation hospitality course in Mumbai a few years ago, news outlets reported, and deceived even his own family into thinking he was a commercial pilot.

He was spotted by officers from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) while walking near the airport skywalk. It was later discovered that Singh had created the ID with an online app called Business Card Maker and bought a pilot’s uniform and accessories from Pilot 18, Sector 9, in Dwarka, New Delhi.

A senior police official told news agency IANS that a case under sections 420, 468, and 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been lodged against Singh, adding, “Presenting himself as a Singapore Airlines pilot to CISF personnel, he displayed an ID card hanging from his neck. Upon interception, he was identified as Sangeet Singh in possession of a Singapore Airlines ID card for in-flight operations, which were subsequently confirmed to be counterfeit upon verification.”

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He also said, “Further inquiry revealed that he had completed a one-year Aviation Hospitality course in Mumbai in 2020, and had misled his family and acquaintances by professing to work as a pilot for Singapore Airlines.”

Mr Simon Wong, Singapore’s High Commissioner to India, posted on X (formerly Twitter) about the incident on Friday (26 Apr), writing, “UP man caught in IGI Airport posing as Singapore Airlines Pilot. So glad he got caught. HC Wong.”

 

As it turns out, it’s not the first time that an Indian man has run afoul of the law for impersonating a pilot.

In November 2019, a 48-year-old man named Rajan Mahbubani was arrested, also at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, while boarding an AirAsia flight to Kolkata. Mahbubani was dressed in a Lufthansa airline pilot’s uniform in order to get access through airport security as well as preferential treatment with carriers.

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He told the police that he had bought his fake Lufthansa ID in Thailand and confessed to have boarded 15 flights using his “credentials.”

“Mahbubani said that he was a frequent flier and used to dress up as a pilot to gain easy access through security, get preferential treatment from security agencies and airlines and seat upgrades,” said Mr Sanjay Bhatia, the airport’s deputy commissioner of police. /TISG

Read also: Singapore Airlines pilot jailed six months and fined $182K for tax evasion