Mumbai police had received a satellite phone signal near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSIA) on July 6.
When an immediate alert was sounded, local police along with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) traced the signal to a chartered plane parked at the airport as air ambulance.
Satellite phones have been banned in India after the 2008 Mumbai attack as terrorists were found using them.
According to Mumbai police sources, once the satellite phone was traced, a 25-year-old Italian nurse was booked for using it. The aircraft had come from Fujairah in the UAE and there were two more crew members with her.
“The nurse was aboard the SUA 541 aircraft and using the Thuraya satellite phone. Satellite phones are banned in India, and foreigners, unaware of the local law, are often caught with it at airports,” said a CISF official.
The air ambulance had come to pick up a patient, an Italian who had come to India as a tourist and gone to Leh and Ladakh. “Her patient met with a bike accident in Ladakh and sustained serious injuries. He had to be flown back to his home country for further medical treatment,” said an officer of airport police, requesting anonymity.
Police have filed a case under section 6 of the Indian Wireless Act, 1933 and sections 20 and 21 of Indian Telegraph Act (ITA), 1885. Deputy commissioner of police Paramjit Singh Dahiya confirmed that the case was filed.
Police have now sent summons to the Italian embassy. They expect the embassy to comply and hand over the nurse to police custody. She will then be produced before the Andheri metropolitan court. Police will also submit the charge sheet while producing the nurse before the magistrate.
She faces a maximum punishment of a three year prison sentence under section 20 of ITA.
Jul 14, 2019 16:27 IST