In a very strange incident, a frequent flyer was arrested at Delhi Airport. He was travelling with forged identification. He had almost a dozen cases of theft registered against him.
The incident happened on Vistara (a JV of Singapore Airlines and Tata group) flights to / from Delhi and Srinagar. The Duty Manager at Vistara had informed the police that a person had traveled from Delhi to Srinagar and returned on the same day under a fake name and identification.
Further, the cabin crew had noted suspicious behavior by this person during the flight. According to some sources, he was trying to steal carry-on bags.
He was apprehended upon arrival at Delhi airport and questioned.
Rajesh Kapoor – the arrested individual – is 37 years old. Apparently, he had been stealing from his co-passengers for several years now. Various news reports in India have created quite a colorful picture of his life.
As per those reports, Mr. Kapoor is a resident of Delhi. He had lived in Malaysia and Singapore for a couple of years. This is where he got the idea to steal credit cards, jewelry and other valuables from his co-passengers. During investigations, he mentioned that he targeted people while he traveled as he thought that his chances of getting caught were less. As per him, people hardly suspect thefts while on the plane.
It is alleged that he did this to fund his lifestyle after failing in a business venture.
This was not the first time he was caught. Previously, he had been charged with stealing a staggering 11 times – 6 at airports and 5 on train stations! He had also been blacklisted by a couple of airlines for his previous transgressions. It is not clear why our man was still out stealing. Perhaps, both the airline and police had let him off with a warning earlier.
As per the police, he has been charged under Sections 417 (cheating), 447 (criminal trespass) and 419 (cheating by impersonation) of the Indian Penal Code.
Quite frankly, this incident raises more questions than answers.
The biggest one is, why would a man take a same day round-trip flight with the sole objective of stealing from his co-passengers? He could be sitting next to anyone and even if he succeeds, the stolen amount may not be sufficient to cover cost of tickets!
However, there is one important lesson here. Many of us – including myself – do let our guard down in an airplane. Many a times, I stuff my wallet in the seat pocket in front of me and sleep. I think we should all be more careful.