An Indian pilot was deplaned and handcuffed by law enforcement authorities in the United States over charges of downloading child pornography on Monday, The Times of India reported.
The pilot was arrested soon after his flight, flying from New Delhi to San Francisco, landed in the continental US. Authorities handcuffed the pilot and escorted him off the plane.
The individual, who works for an Indian carrier, is reported to be the first officer of the flight and frequents the US often. As per current regulations, all air carriers operating flights that are bound for the US are required to give a list of passengers and crew - within 15 minutes after the departure of the flight - to the US Bureau of Customs and Border Protection.
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"FBI agents must have waited for him to re-enter the US. He was arrested, his passport seized, his US visa cancelled. He was then put back on a flight to Delhi and deported from the US," a source said, also adding the fact that he will no longer be able to visit the US.
"It was later learnt that he had been under scanner of the FBI for the past two months for accessing and downloading child pornography. His internet usage in hotels during layovers in the US was monitored to gather evidence. The FBI has apparently sent a sealed dossier with the evidence to Indian authorities," added another source.
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An official spokesperson for the carrier quoted the reason for the pilot's deportation as "visa issues", however at least three independent sources confirmed that issue in question was in fact related to child pornography charges.
According to the US federal law, child pornography is any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor and it prohibits "any persons outside of the United States to knowingly produce, receive, transport, ship or distribute child pornography with the intent to import or transmit the visual depiction in the United States."