Official carried cash to meet expenses in Kazakhstan:Air India

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New Delhi, Apr 9 (UNI) Air India tonight clarified that its senior manager was not detained at the Almaty airport in Kazakhstan for possessing an undeclared amount of 35,000 dollars, saying he was ''just questioned about officially-accounted for cash'' which had been given to meet the operational expenses.

The senior Air India manager was accompanying Vice-President Hamid Ansari and other government officials besides journalists to the Central Asian nations of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

''The manager was not detained. The question does not arise.

He was just asked about the officially-accounted for cash,'' an Air India spokesperson said when contacted by UNI.

He said Air India operated chartered flights for a VIP's visit to foreign countries. ''There are non-schedule and not normal flights. There are no passengers on board. All are invitees. A few Air India officials are also there.'' The spokesperson said as Air India does not operate in these countries, the officials are sent along with cash to meet operational expenses there.

''The cash is for navigational, landing and other related facilities at the airports in these countries,'' he added.

Earlier, the custom officials had said that the Air India manager had not declared the amount of 35,000 dollars, which he was carrying on his person.

The Indian Embassy officials in Kazakhstan had got in touch with the Kazakh customs department there in this regard.

Meanwhile, the Vice-President returned here after his official visit to Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

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