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Probe report says Biman pilot mistakenly travelled sans passport

  • Published at 07:18 pm June 17th, 2019
File photo of Boeing 787 Dreamline of Bangladesh Biman Biman Bangladesh website

The probe committee also came up with some recommendations including some observation on the immigration process

Biman Bangladesh Airlines pilot Captain Fazal Mahmud, who operated a flight from Dhaka to Doha to bring back Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina from a foreign tour, left his passport mistakenly in his office in Dhaka, says a probe report.

The report was submitted to the Cabinet Division on Sunday, said the committee convener Nasima Begum, also additional secretary of the Cabinet Division, on Monday.

The probe committee, after talking to the pilot and verifying other information, has found evidence that the pilot left the passport mistakenly, she said.

The inter-ministerial committee investigated about the Biman pilot’s travel to Qatar without passport, and the negligence of the immigration authority at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.

Also Read - Biman pilot for PM’s return flight stuck at Qatar for not carrying passport

Nasima said the number of probe committee members meanwhile has been increased to six from four.

The committee was assigned to submit a report within three working days, but it took another three, and submitted a probe report to Cabinet Division Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam on Sunday, she added.

Shafiul Alam said the report has been received, but he has not formally read it yet.

Responding to a query on whether the report would be made public, he said there shall be no bar on it and the decision on making it public will be taken after consultation with proper authorities.

Also Read - Airport police SI suspended over passport debacle

The probe committee also came up with some recommendations including some observation on the immigration process, he added.

Meanwhile, another 4-member committee formed by the Home Ministry is probing the incident. Although they were asked to submit the report within seven working days, the committee sought time extension.

Biman pilot Captain Fazal Mahmud operated a Dhaka-Chittagong-Doha flight on June 5. After landing in Doha, he noticed that his passport was not with him.

The pilot immediately informed the Biman station manager in Doha over the matter, and also contacted Dhaka Headquarters. As his passport was not with him, Captain Fazal Mahmud checked in the Hotel Arix, which is located before the immigration checkpoint inside the airport, said a previous media release of Biman.

After receiving the passport, which was sent from Dhaka later, Captain Fazal Mahmud passed through immigration in Qatar as per regular procedure, without any hassle.

Meanwhile, another pilot was sent to bring back Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina after she completed a tri-nation visit this month.

Also Read - Probe body to look into Biman pilot’s passport mishap

An immigration official, Sub-Inspector (SI) Kamruzzaman, at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport was suspended for letting Captain Fazal Mahmud pass through immigration after only checking the General Declaration.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, at a press conference on June 9, said she asked for prompt action against those who were on-duty at the immigration for allowing the Biman pilot to go to Doha International Airport without checking his passport to bring her back.

Mentioning that anyone might forget to carry his/her passport, she questioned as to why the pilot’s passport was not checked during immigration.

She asked the authorities concerned to ensure tight security at airports so that no one –- VIP or VVIP -- can pass the immigration without proper checking.