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India in touch with UAE over its arms-laden aircraft

A United Arab Emirates Air Force C-130 transport aircraft is seen near hanger bays at Netaji Subhash Bose International Airport in Kolkata on Monday. Indian Authorities detained plane at Kolkata Airport on its way to China after discovering arms and explosives on board. Photo Credit: PTI

KOLKATA (PTI): India is in touch with the UAE government over the detention of the China-bound cargo plane of its Air Force after arms and ammunition were found onboard and customs authorities were awaiting clearance before the aircraft can be allowed to resume its flight.

The interrogation of the pilot and nine crew members of the C-130 Hercules aircraft which remained in detention for the third day today have been also completed and the Customs had sent detailed reports to the External Affairs Ministry last night, airport officials said. The 10 crew members have been shifted to another hotel for "security reasons".

"The decision to allow the plane to take off from here will be taken by the Ministry of External Affairs, which is in touch with the UAE government ...It is not certain when it would be permitted to take off," airport officials said.

The plane is parked at bay number 14 at the NSC Bose International Airport under a tight cordon by army jawans and no one is allowed to go near it, they said.

The plane, which was on its way to Hanyang in China from Abu Dhabi, landed at the NSC Bose International airport for refuelling at 5.30 pm on Sunday. Its crew-members had not informed in their routine declaration to the airport authorities and customs that ammunition were in the plane.

An important column in the declaration format was also left blank, Army sources said.

The arms and ammunition were detected during a routine check and the plane and its crew were detained for detailed interrogation.

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