Thursday, May 13, 2021

Man held with 7 concentrators for charity at airport, MoS finance rescues him

New Delhi: A Mangalore-based man who brought seven oxygen concentrators with him, as non-declared goods from Saudi Arabia, on an Indigo flight, was held up by customs at the Mangalore airport on May 11. The concentrators were for charity, and an SOS by his kin and family to the MOS finance helped him release the machines and take them to their destination.

Irfan Khan, 25, got the concentrators from a charity organisation in Saudi Arabia. When he was stalled by the customs at the airport, he first dialled his donors for help. The donors then approached the finance authorities, including MoS Anurag Thakur, in Delhi.

"The custom officials had objected that I should have brought these goods as cargo since some people are black marketing and hoarding concentrators. Later, my friends and my organisation sought help from Anurag Thakur ji who intervened at 12:30 am to assist us and we were allowed to take concentrators home," Khan told TOI.

The concentrators cost about 14,000 dirhams, roughly Rs 3 lakh.

The charity organisation in Saudi Arabia that had donated the concentrators, also submitted a declaration to the Customs department.

“We as a volunteer organisation want to send these oxygen concentrators, purchased by contribution from Gujarat NRG Forum, to Vadodara, Gujarat to save lives in this pandemic situation. We are also thankful to IndiGo Airlines for carrying them free of charge. Please release them on humanitarian grounds and expedite the release process. I assure you these will be used for charity and not for commercial purposes,” wrote Dr Vimal Patel, to the Mangalore customs officer.

13/05/21 Rohan Dua/Times of India

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