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Showing posts from March, 2015

Conflict in Yemen results in near-miss off city skies

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By Aditya Anand, Mumbai Mirror | Mar 31, 2015, 12.01 AM IST
Two Gulf aircraft, re-routed through Indian airspace as the Yemeni skies were closed due to the ongoing conflict in the Arab nation, came within 25 seconds of colliding with each other on Sunday night, top AAI sources told Mirror.

The sources said the two planes - Etihad Airways flight EY 622 from Abu Dhabi to Seychelles and Emirates Airlines flight EK 706 from Seychelles to Dubai - breached the mandatory separation levels about 100 nautical miles off Mumbai.

While the Mumbai Air Traffic Control is preparing a preliminary report documenting the incident, officials told Mirror the two pilots reported a Resolution Advisory (RA).

An RA is an alert that goes off in the cockpit if there is another object less than 25 seconds from a collision. It also tells the pilot if the object is above him or below him.

"It appears that the TCAS or the traffic collision avoidance system display in the Emirates aircraf…

Flight time between Middle East and Seychelles increases due to closure of Yemeni airspace

Flights between Seychelles and the Middle East are currently taking a longer route to reach their destinations, due to closure of Yemeni airspace. The Yemen Civil Aviation Authority made the decision to close their airspace yesterday as a precaution to commercial aviation, after military activities erupted in the region of Aden in Yemen.
Airlines are, therefore, making a detour to avoid the Sanaa airspace and are being dispatched out in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean using Muscat and Bombay airspace. This is affecting both the Emirates and Air Seychelles/Etihad flight schedules.
In the case of Emirates airline, the flying time has increased by approximately 45 minutes, from 4 hours, 5 minutes to 4 hours, 45 minutes.
Air Seychelles/Etihad has slightly over an hour added to the flight times for the Seychelles-Abu Dhabi sector and vice versa.
Other than those traveling to Seychelles, hundreds of flights using the Yemen airspace to access the Indian Ocean region as well a…

Lankan assets found in Dubai

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Investigators who commenced an investigation into financial deals of the Rajapaksa regime had traced $2 billion in Dubai banks, The Economic Times has reported. Of this, one account of a Rajapaksa family member allegedly has $1.064 billion, other two by two different persons have $500 million each in two separate accounts, the source said. The report states that India along with the US have been approached to assist in the investigation to trace this huge amount. Both New Delhi and Washington are assisting with the probe, an Indian official source added. The Dubai money is estimated to account for 20% of the total amount Lankan authorities allege has been illicitly stashed abroad by the former president and his family. The family, however, has denied any wrongdoings and described the allegations as baseless.
President Maithripala Sirisena had during his visit to New Delhi last month shared details of the amount allegedly stashed away by Rajapaksa family in St Martin Isla…

India, Seychelles agree to lease Assumption Island for 'infrastructure development'

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will be leasing the Assumption Island, one of the 115 islands that constitute the Seychelles.
On paper, the island will be leased for 'island development' for tourism purposes, but in actuality, it could be put to use as a listening and surveillance post.
This arrangement is similar to that with the Mauritius authorities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently on a day long visit to the Seychelles, spoke of the agreements signed between the two sides with respect to Assumption Island.
"Our agreement today on the of in the gives a strong boost to this partnership," Prime Minister Modi said here.
"President Michel and I underlined the importance of comprehensive cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region. We expressed support for a more active and productive Indian Ocean Rim Association. Our development partnership is also a strong pillar of our relations," he added.
Prime Ministe…

Modi to commission surveillance radar system in Mahe

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India will set up 32 surveillance stations fitted with navigational military radars in Mauritius, Seychelles, Maldives and Sri Lanka to keep an eye on the Chinese maritime traffic in the Indian Ocean region.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leaving for a five-day tour of the island nations, during which he would commission the first coastal surveillance radar system in the Mahe island in Seychelles.

The remaining seven stations in Seychelles would be up and running in the next six months. Five of them would be at Mahe whereas three would be located in outer islands.

While the prime minister was initially scheduled to visit all the four islands housing these coastal radars, Maldives was dropped out of his itinerary because of the ongoing political turmoil.

The India Ocean surveillance radar network comprises eight stations each in Seychelles and Mauritius and 10 in Maldives. Former defence minister A K Antony commissioned the snooping stations in Mauritius abou…

Bank Negara must investigate Jho Low for money laundering

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Bank Negara should investigate Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho and his associates for suspected money laundering in the acquisition of UBG Bhd via Petro Saudi International (Seychelles) Ltd using funds from state-owned 1Malaysia Development Malaysia (1MDB), DAP said.
The party's publicity chief Tony Pua said that the complicated money trail involving 1MDB clearly showed that it was meant as a cover up and to legitimise the acquisition of assets using illegitimately acquired funds.
Speaking at the Parliament lobby today, he said the fact that the funds were siphoned out of 1MDB made it an illegal action, adding that any money derived from illegal action and spent on subsequent assets counted as money laundering.
"Clearly there is deception involved because evidence provided by Sarawak Report shows that there was the agreement between Jho Low and PetroSaudi that Jho Low controls the funding in PetroSaudi Seychelles which was ultimately used to acquire Utama Ba…

Modi to ramp up help for Indian Ocean nations to counter China influence

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(Reuters) - Prime Minister Narendra Modi will offer island nations in the Indian Ocean a broad range of military and civilian assistance next week in a bid to wrest back some of the influence China has gained by spending billions of dollars in the region.
Modi will make the pledges during a visit to Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles after decades of neglect by successive Indian governments. His trip to Sri Lanka will be the first in 28 years by an Indian prime minister.
China has built seaports, power plants and highways across the small island nations. Its navy has also made forays into the Indian Ocean, including when submarines docked last year in Sri Lanka, rattling New Delhi, which has an uneasy relationship with Beijing.
New Delhi is hoping to tie the islands into a closer security embrace, Indian officials said.
"India has a role as a net security provider in the Indian Ocean region," said a defence official involved in preparations for Modi's trip, w…