Aviation

Businessman caught attempting aircraft pilot con

An Indian man has been arrested after being caught impersonating a Lufthansa pilot.

Rajan Mahbubani, 48, was reportedly arrested on Monday at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi for allegedly pretending to be a captain of the German airline.

Officials say Mahbubani, who reportedly owns a consultancy company, was about to board an AirAsia flight to Kolkata dressed as a pilot in order to avoid long queues and security checks, according to Indian television station NDTV.

A chief security officer of Lufthansa reportedly tipped off the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) that a suspected passenger had dressed as a captain for the airline, which led to Mahbubani’s arrest, the station reported.

This came after Mahbubani allegedly posted images of himself in the cockpit wearing a pilot’s uniform to TikTok and Instagram.

Mahbubani was also found with a fake pilot ID, which he told police was bought from Bangkok two years earlier, the Indian Express reported.

“The passenger disclosed that he used to shoot YouTube videos on aviation and had obtained the Lufthansa fake ID card in Bangkok,” a senior CISF officer told NDTV.

During his interrogation, Mahbubani reportedly said he was “fond of wearing uniforms of different professions” and getting himself photographed. Authorities also recovered images on his phone of him wearing an army colonel’s outfit, among other uniforms, the police told multiple sources.

“During interrogation, Mahbubani said that he is a frequent traveller and used to impersonate as a pilot of international airlines to gain easy access during security clearance and have preferential treatment from security agencies and airlines,” the Deputy Commissioner of Police at IGI Airport, Sanjay Bhatia, told the Hindustan Times.

Mahbubani has allegedly gained seat upgrades on different occasions and travelled on multiple occasions using the same “modus operandi”, Bhatia told multiple sources.

A case has reportedly been registered against Mahbubani and he has been put under arrest; however, the exact charges levelled against him remain unclear.

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