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Report Dated January 17, 2017 7:09 PM
A man from Bihar has been languishing in a jail in Saudi Arabia for over 15 years, and his family, unable to pay a punishment sum of over Rs. 1 crore to secure his release, has now approached the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for help.
Mohammed Irfan, 42, was arrested for allegedly committing theft of medicines from a local government warehouse in Jeddah in January 2000 and since then he has been in jail, according to a December 21, 2016 correspondence between the Ministry of External Affairs and National Commission for Minorities (NCM) member Praveen Davar.
Irfan was arrested for allegedly violating two Saudi rights — public and private.
While Irfan, who hails from Bihar’s Piplawan village, has served imprisonment of 18 months under public right, he continues to be in prison for not fulfilling private right, under which he is required to pay a penalty amount of around Rs. 1.29 crore (7,11,562 Saudi Riyals).
According to a public court in Jeddah, Irfan must pay the amount to the Saudi Health Ministry for allegedly stealing medicines from the warehouse of its medical supply department, where he used to work as an air-conditioner technician.
Irfan is accused of selling the medicines to Mansoor Ali Hakeem, a Bangladeshi national.
Given the prevalent rules/laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, no one can exempt/waive or commute punishment awarded under private right except the affected party, the correspondence from the office of Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar said.
The matter was taken up several times with the Saudi authorities concerned in the past, but no positive reply has been received till now in this regard, it said.
Report Dated January 15, 2017 3:48 PM
Post demonetisation, the Central Industrial Security Force, which mans the country’s civil airports, has seized 351.62kg of gold, 50 kg of silver and Rs.71.48 crore in cash.
There’s an embarrassment of riches at India’s airports following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move. Authorities have seized huge amounts of cash, gold and jewellery between November 9 and December 31, 2016, with smuggling looking to take off.
According to a top Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) official, the force managed to confiscate 351.62kg gold (biscuits and jewellery), 50 kg silver and Rs.71.48 crore in cash from 59 airports across the country during 50 days of demonetisation. Mumbai has the highest contribution on all three counts with 256.74 kg gold, seven kg silver and Rs.32.14 crore in cash recovered by the CISF.
Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport is second on the list with 42.77 kg gold, 6.15 kg silver and Rs. 9 crore in cash.
Kolkata and Raipur have secured the third and fourth positions respectively with 16.198 kg and 12.2 kg of gold.
The CISF personnel have also recovered 10.86 kg silver and Rs.6 crore in cash from Kolkata.
“We have been expecting rise in smuggling of gold and cash during the demonetisation period. These are huge figures and also indicate panic being created among black marketeers in the country,” said a CISF official.
“A majority of the seizures were done during the first half of the demonetisation period. We have completed the details of the seizures and handed over the cases to the concerned income tax and customs departments. The chances of seizure at airports are always on the higher side due to the tight security. Despite that, black marketeers have chosen the aerial route for smuggling, which is quite amazing,” the official added.
Apart from that, the CISF cracked 13 cases, including five at IGI Airport in which passengers were involved in smuggling contraband such as heroin, cocaine, ketamine, marijuana, etc. The highest seizure was done at Bengaluru International Airport when CISF officials have recovered 22 kg of ketamine worth Rs.4.5 crore from a flyer.
Besides that, 18 kg methaqualone on June 20 and 35 kg and 10 kg pseudoephedrine on March 19 and June 27 were recovered by CISF personnel at Delhi Airport.
The force also detected 208 ammunition and 12 firearms from passengers’ belongings last year. The contribution of IGI Airport is 41. Four cases in smuggling of wildlife – animals or articles – were also registered at Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata.
Since the security at all 59 civilian airports in the country under the CISF is tight, a large number of passengers do not come forward to claim their belongings once they are seized.
The CISF has recovered unattended properties worth Rs.38.44 crore in 2016 and Rs.28.18 crore was handed over to airport operators after completing the formalities. The CISF personnel are the ones involved in manual and computerised checking and they come first during detection of smuggled items. The accused have cooked up different modus operandi to smuggle gold and cash. They have also used the cargo service for it.
The aviation industry is also vulnerable to forged tickets, visas and passports. A large number of touts active across the country pose as travel agents. The CISF has apprehended 475 touts and 425 of them have been handed over to police for criminal proceedings. The remaining 50 were also handed over to concerned airport operators for their involvement in other offences.
Report Dated January 14, 2017 11:13 PM
An Indian-origin doctor in the UK will appear before a medical tribunal for prescribing medicines to close relatives by breaching strict rules of British medical council which termed his action as “misleading and dishonest”.
Dr Srinivas Rao Dharmana, 45, from Liverpool in England, was referred to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service by the UK’s General Medical Council (GMC) for prescribing methadone to a family member, referred to as ‘Patient A’, on three occasions between December 2011 and May 2013.
Under GMC guidelines, General Practitioners (GP) “must” avoid prescribing medicine for themselves or anyone with whom they have a close personal relationship.
“It is alleged that his actions in this regard were misleading and dishonest,” the GMC said.
He has also received a police caution in the past over a prescription for another patient, referred to as ‘Patient B’, Liverpool Echo reported.
A spokesperson from local Merseyside Police confirmed he had been cautioned for supplying buprenorphine, a Class C drug similar to methadone.
Dharmana is also accused of practising medicine on “more than one occasion” after being suspended by the GMC while the investigation took place.
His GP clinic in Walton was shut down in December 2015 after being rated “inadequate” by the UK’s Care Quality Commission (CQC), which found that staff were not properly trained and the building lacked vital medical equipment. There was also no oxygen available at the practice or a defibrillator for use in an emergency, the commission had said in a report.
“There was a pre-planned agenda to close me down, that is why I decided to shut. I have decided to walk away from the whole thing. Not one patient has ever complained about the care at the surgery. It is the patients who I care about, I am not worried about what the CQC says. I put my heart and soul into the surgery,” Dharmana had said at the time.
The doctor made headlines in 2013 when he was stabbed by robbers as he closed his old surgery for the night.
Report Dated January 10, 2017 5:04 PM
A 31-year-old man from India has been arrested in Mexico’s Guadalajara city for allegedly shooting an American diplomat over a possible visa row.
The US diplomat was shot by a man wearing a black wig and a blue nurse uniform outside a shopping center’s garage (Jan 6) in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city.
The suspect was arrested in a joint operation by the FBI, DEA and Jalisco state officials in Guadalajara’s affluent Providencia neighbourhood early on Jan 8 morning, reports said.
A spokesperson at the Jalisco state prosecutor’s office identified the suspect as a naturalised American from India named Zafar Zia, suggesting the shooting may have been related to a dispute over a visa.
Zia, at the time of his arrest, had in his possession a .38-caliber. Authorities also seized a Honda Accord with California license plates and a wig that is believed to have been used at the time of the attempted murder. Zia had moved to Guadalajara in November from Phoenix and had been residing in the city since. The apparent motive for the attempted murder appears to have been a disagreement over an undisclosed visa process, media reports said.
The FBI had offered $20,000 reward for information leading to the identification of the shooter.
Security footage recorded just prior to the shooting showed the victim validating his parking lot ticket while carrying a gym bag. Moments later, he is followed by a man wearing a nurse’s uniform, it added.
The consular official is now recovering in a hospital.
Report Dated January 9, 2017 6:45 PM
Mumbai police arrested a 30-year-old non-resident Indian (NRI) man for allegedly molesting an upcoming model.
The accused knew the girl and had proposed to her but she declined, police said.
On December 29 the accused allegedly entered her house in Juhu forcibly and tried to molest her; when she resisted he assaulted her, police said.
The victim approached Juhu police and lodged a complaint, following which he was arrested under section 354 (assault or criminal force on woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of IPC.