Air India Suspends Screener for Not Finding Firearms in Baggage

MUMBAI, India_Air India suspended an employee who failed to detect a gun and 30 bullets in the check-in luggage of a prominent Indian businessman during a state of high security at Indian airports, the state-run carrier said Friday.

The airline ordered an inquiry after officials at Dubai airport discovered the firearm and ammunition in the luggage of Nusli Wadia, an industrialist who had flown to Dubai from the Indian city of Mumbai on Jan. 13.

Airports across the country at that time were on a high alert following intelligence reports that Kashmiri militants might try to hijack an Indian plane.

"We have taken a serious view of the incident," Air India's statement said. "Based on initial inquires, the person who was in charge of the handling the X-ray of the baggage has been suspended."

Wadia was able to show his Indian arms license to authorities in Dubai, Press Trust of India reported.

A spokesman for the Wadia Group said the revolver and cartridges were inadvertently packed by Wadia's house staff, who delivered the baggage to him at the Mumbai airport, PTI reported.

Wadia owns a major textile company, Bombay Dyeing. He is a grandson of Pakistan's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

Under Indian law, passengers wishing to carry arms on board an Indian airline must have permission from the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.

Wadia violated the rules by not informing Indian authorities, PTI said. No charges have yet been brought against the businessman.