IndianGuy
Posts: 3126
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2000 3:14 pm

Air India Pilot Gets 10 Years For Drug Running

Wed Sep 01, 2004 3:08 pm

A Mumbai court has sentenced an Air India pilot Capt. Zarious Dastoor to 10 years in prison and ahefty fine.

Capt. Dastoor was arrested while preparing to board Air India's flight to LNew York via London.

Full Story:
http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=54231

AI cabin and flight crew have previously been arrested for smuggling everything from endangered wild animals to liquor and gold. In the most famous case, customs at a Middle Eastern airport found gold bars hidden away in the panels of the Airbus A310 aircraft. Atleast 2 female cabin crew had been arrested for complicity then.
 
bennett123
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RE: Air India Pilot Gets 10 Years For Drug Running

Wed Sep 01, 2004 5:46 pm

I am amazed that it took 7 years to come to trial.

Clearly flight/cabin crew make ideal couriers, they have a legitimate reason to fly frequently, and a not noticed. If you were asked who you saw on the way to the office, would you "notice" the postman/milkman or is he part of the scenary. Also they are trained to deal with stress.

My reaction to him getting 10 years, GOOD!!.
 
Vimanav
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RE: Air India Pilot Gets 10 Years For Drug Running

Thu Sep 02, 2004 12:50 am

Not that I'm trying to condone the deed. But from what I have heard of this case was that a neighbour of Capt. Dastoor (who till then had an impeccable record with AI) had asked him to carry the suitcase to his relative in NYC. Capt. Dastoor obliged and landed in hot water.

If that's the case then this is truly a travesty of justice.

Maybe Sean can throw some light on this.

rgds//Vimanav
Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
 
kaitak
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RE: Air India Pilot Gets 10 Years For Drug Running

Thu Sep 02, 2004 1:37 am

I'm sorry, but I don't agree. Air India has operated with El Al type security since the 1985 bombing (3h check in, bag searches etc.) and an Air India captain, of all people, should have known that you do not carry anything for anyone else, for any reason. Sorry, but that excuse just doesn't wash.
 
mrniji
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RE: Air India Pilot Gets 10 Years For Drug Running

Thu Sep 02, 2004 1:43 am

Vimanav,

I have to agree with Kaitak, although I have to admit I feel sorry about what happened and to witness how human trust is misused
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
Vimanav
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Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 4:33 am

RE: Air India Pilot Gets 10 Years For Drug Running

Thu Sep 02, 2004 2:00 am

Kaitak

Like I said in my post... I do not condone his action. His action was ill-advised and not one expected of an experienced aviator.

Though I have not known Captain Dastoor personally, I have several pilot friends who have known him and vouch for his character. We in India are an emotional lot who would do things (that would otherwise appears very silly) for friends without a second thought. In this case it was unfortunate that it turned out the way it did.

I hope justice prevails.

rgds//Vimanav
Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
 
B747-437B
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RE: Air India Pilot Gets 10 Years For Drug Running

Thu Sep 02, 2004 4:48 am

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
 
mrniji
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RE: Air India Pilot Gets 10 Years For Drug Running

Thu Sep 02, 2004 5:26 am

What Sean and Pran say of course casts another light on the story - I imagine what you mean about AI being a family... as I said, too bad that humanity has lost... - I have to apologize about what I have said before.

[Edited 2004-09-01 22:30:24]
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
Vimanav
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RE: Air India Pilot Gets 10 Years For Drug Running

Thu Sep 02, 2004 5:36 am

Thanks for the details Sean. Though my family did not know Capt. Dastoor, being from the aviation fraternity, we have over the years since the incident really felt our hearts go out to this gentleman and his predicament. Is there really no hope for him in court especially in view of his fine service records?

rgds//Vimanav
Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
 
B747-437B
Posts: 8777
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 6:54 am

RE: Air India Pilot Gets 10 Years For Drug Running

Thu Sep 02, 2004 5:48 am

Is there really no hope for him in court especially in view of his fine service records?

He has Satish Maneshinde as his lawyer which means that there will likely be a strong appeal. The case is really open-and-shut because Dinsha Pastakia has given a sworn affadavit that Dastoor was not involved in the smuggling ring at all and was simply being used as a mule. The only question is the interpretation of whether mens rea is a prerequisite for a statutory crime such as drug traficking.

Still, his entire career and reputation is ruined anyway no matter what transpires. All because he was too trusting of someone he thought was a friend.

[Edited 2004-09-01 22:50:19]
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
leelaw
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Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Air India Pilot Gets 10 Years For Drug Running

Thu Sep 02, 2004 6:13 am

B747-437B:

FYI, in criminal law (based on English common law), offenses sometimes do not require any specific or general mens rea, this is known as strict liability. The conduct itself, even if innocently engaged in, results in criminal liability. Strict liability crimes are usually limited to minor offenses or regulatory offenses such as parking and health code violations and penalties are often minimal. Unfortunately, for this gentleman, in certain instances, such as drug and weapons offenses, the penalties can be quite substantial.

Hope he has a good appellate advocate, they often perform miracles.

Regards
Lex Ancilla Justitiae
 
IndianGuy
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RE: Air India Pilot Gets 10 Years For Drug Running

Thu Sep 02, 2004 4:53 pm

How on earth can a guy be so dumb? There are many people who did not buy the "unwitting accomplice" line. Infact that is why the judge rejected his earlier bail (he was out on bail earlier) and sentenced him.

-Roy
 
leelaw
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Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 4:13 pm

RE: Air India Pilot Gets 10 Years For Drug Running

Tue Sep 07, 2004 1:49 am

FMI, what is a "seedha-saadha" boy?

Thanx
Lex Ancilla Justitiae
 
B747-437B
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Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 6:54 am

RE: Air India Pilot Gets 10 Years For Drug Running

Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:04 am

what is a "seedha-saadha" boy?

"Seedha-saadha" translates literally as "Straight and Plain" and is used idiomatically to represent someone who is law abiding and straightforward.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
TheBigOne
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Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 11:50 am

RE: Air India Pilot Gets 10 Years For Drug Running

Tue Sep 07, 2004 2:20 am

"Seedha saadha" means someone who is on the straight and narrow. What I find hard to understand is how Capt Dastoor managed to continue flying to the UK and USA while the case against him was still ongoing? From my understanding, the USA does not permit anyone accused or convicted of trafficking narcotics into the US. I'm also not quite convinced of Dastoor's innocence. Unbeknownst to a lot of his friends and family in India he known to have accrued large gambling debts in London on a flight shortly before his arrest. Perhaps this has no bearing on the case, but I'd like to keep and open mind.
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