Mumbai airport ‘UFO mystery’: 2 held for flying promotional balloons


Two people have been arrested for floating the mysterious objects seen over the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport of Mumbai last week-end, which were, in fact, helium balloons used for advertising, a top Mumbai police official said on Tuesday.


“We have arrested the two, identified as Kunal Shah and Nilesh Shrimankar, and will present them before an Andheri court today (Tuesday). They will be released on bail since it is a minor offence,” Additional Police Commissioner Deven Bharati said.


The duo, employed with an event management company, had released at least four-five balloons in the vicinity of the Mumbai airport on Saturday evening, which triggered a major security scare after a Jet Airways pilot spotted them just before take-off.


“We have registered a case of negligence against them and are probing whether they had the requisite permissions for releasing these balloons in high-security zone,” a police official said earlier.


The balloons, which were mistaken for UFOs and triggered probes by multiple agencies and immense media speculation, were released on behalf of Dharmanandan Diamonds Pvt. Ltd. of Surat, as a marketing gimmick during a sponsored cricket match held that day at Kalina Grounds, close to the airport.


Incidentally, company’s owner Lalji Patel had attracted media attention in February this year when he successfully bid for a golden suit worn by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for Rs.4.31 crore at an auction in Surat.




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