CHENNAI: For the second time this year, airport security personnel have gotten paranoid over a foreign passenger carrying a satellite phone, and detained him in the country for a few more days.
While it was a young American woman last time, this time it turned out to be the managing director of global make-up manufacturer Kryolan.
In the process of checking in to board a Singapore Airlines flight SQ 529 at 11.15 on Tuesday night, the German passenger’s sat phone was found in his baggage by CISF men. He was apparently asked to accompany them and an explanation was sought. Airport sources confirmed that the CISF were steadfast about the rules surrounding satellite phones as they breached rules set both by the Union Home Ministry and the Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). After being forced to miss his flight and answer questions, he was handed over to the Airport S2 Police Station for further investigation.
Unlike most other international passengers who have termed the ‘no sat phone’ diktat ludicrous, and have been verbal about it, Langer Wolfram Frank Wilfried (64) was apparently aware of the rule. “He knew that it wasn’t allowed in the country, but he had needed to use it in the countries he had visited in Africa before flying here, and would also need it in Australia, where he was headed to, so he had brought it along,” police said.
The police described him as ‘polite and cooperative’ as they made him re-tell his story, before taking away the phone from him. The Iridium satellite phone that he was carrying was confiscated and sent to an IT lab in Kandanchavadi, where the techs will determine if it had been used to make calls during his three-day stay in the country.
“Coming to visit the company plant in Mahindra Tech City is something that he has been doing often and that is why he was here. It may take 1-2 days to check the phone, so we have asked him to stay and inform us of his general whereabouts till he is cleared to leave the country,” said an Intelligence official.