My family did know Capt. Dastoor personally, as well as Dinsha Pastakia who has confessed to asking Dastoor to carry the bag to New York without telling him that there was heroin in the false bottom. Nobody has any doubt that Dinsha was the brains behind the smiggling outfit, especially after his run ins with COFEPOSA in the 80s and his decade in Tihar jail on other charges.
Dinsha told Dastoor that the suitcase contained some clothes for Dinsha's son (who was studying at the University of Oklahoma) and that it would be collected from the layover hotel in New York. Dastoor checked the contents of the suitcase and found it to be clothes, but didn't realize that Dinsha had placed heroin in the false bottom.
I don't know whether Dinsha's son was involved in the racket, but I highly doubt it. Although I haven't met him in almost 10 years now (the family sorta faded away from AI
social circles after this incident), he was a very "seedha-saadha" boy who I can't imagine being involved in this kind of activity. But then again, we'd have said the same about his dad too and see where that landed Dastoor.
The victim here is Dastoor, who was a great guy who became an innocent victim due to the betrayal by a friend. That he is now being sentenced to jail time is a miscarriage of justice.
Air India is like a family. The carrying of packages for fellow employees is a favor that has been ongoing for years and has continued. Even today, I personally carry at least 2-3 packages for various AI
folks everytime I travel to/from India even though my dad is long retired from the airline. Of course, we have learned to check out the contents and make sure we don't get suckered like poor Capt. Dastoor did. But still, all of us can look at this story and identify with it because it could so easily have been one of us that Dinsha asked to carry the suitcase that fateful day.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada