Mumbai: Swissair security officer caught with 15 bullets at T2

CISF caught Laury Thierry Herren (28), in-flight security officer for Swissair, with the ammunition in the wee hours of Friday, during the pre-boarding screening

An in-flight security officer (IFSO) of Swissair landed himself in perilous terrain yesterday.

As Laury Thierry Herren (28) was going through the security screening at Terminal 2 during the early hours of Friday, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officials saw that he was carrying 15 live bullets and magazines. They caught him and handed him over to the Sahar police.

The incident took place around 12.15 am at level 4, as the crew was checking in for flight LX 0155, which was scheduled to depart at 1.20 am. After CISF recovered the ammunition from Herren, he wasn’t allowed to fly. The airplane, carrying 155 passengers and 14 crewmembers, took off around 2.10am.

Herren’s partner Michael Koelliker, also an IFSO, was to fly via the same plane, but he was also not allowed onboard and was taken to Sahar police.

Sheshrao Shelke, investigating officer, said, “Herren has said that while he was changing his uniform in the flight, he mistakenly carried the bullets and the magazine. He claimed he wasn’t aware they were with him, and he had even carried them, without realising, to the Leela hotel, where the two were staying. However, our law doesn’t allow him to carry any arms outside the flight. We are having a meeting with the zonal deputy commissioner of police (DCP).”

Another official from Sahar police station said, “After an internal meeting of Sahar policemen, no conclusion could be drawn. Had they been civilians, it would have been easier for us to take action. But they are themselves policemen, who went against our law, so the case became tricky.”

An airport official present at the time of frisking said, “During the course of screening Herren came to the X-ray machine at the Security Hold Area (SHA) of the international airport. The officer had 15 live bullets and magazines, which was seen while screening his handbag. He failed to produce the required documents and couldn’t answer the queries of the CISF men. He was handed over to the Sahar police.”

After conducting thorough checks, the police let Herren and his partner Koelliker off.

A spokesperson of Swissair said, “We had some issues with the security at the Mumbai International airport and we are looking at it.”

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