Last September, an airport in India dealt with a passenger that impersonated a pilot to secure crew benefits when passing through the airport. He also managed to obtain an upgraded seat, typical for a pilot travelling on board an aircraft when not flying it himself. If only it were that easy!
Who is the fake Lufthansa pilot?
The 48 year-old Rajan Mahbubani, is a frequent flyer who, according to his own account, used to imitate international pilots on a regular basis in order to receive certain privileges for free! Apparently, the Indian national found pleasure in dressing up in uniform; the authorities went through his phone and uncovered more evidence of previous fake identities!
How on earth did he manage to pass security and other authorities?
Using his fake pilot ID card, the man managed to by go hrough the security checkpoints without any trouble. Airport security obviously assumed he was just an ordinary Lufthansa pilot so they must have granted him priority security check, access to the lounge and other benefits only available to crew members.
According to the con-pilot, he managed to acquire a pilot identity card in Thailand. Arriving at the airport, he cleverly managed to cross through airport security again, even though they had already been notified that there was a man pretending to be a pilot in order to gain certain priviledges.
How the masquerade was uncovered
The fake pilot had, previously to the AirAsia flight on which he was arrested, shared his con-pilot experience through social media posts on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.
Airport security officials had therefore been notified of the con-mans existence and told to keep their eyes and ears open. However, the moment the fake pilot was uncovered was when a staff member of AirAsia called Lufthansa to verify the man’s identity. The false identity was quickly discovered and the impersonator was arrested.
The fake pilot is actually an experienced con-pilot
You won’t believe it but the fake pilot is actually an experienced con-artist who not only tried to impersonate a Lufthansa pilot but, apparently, is also experienced when masking himself as an army colonel, of which evidence was found on the man’s camera roll. You might think that’s it but this man is actually experienced, having flown around the world several times and gained many privileges through his pilot disguise.
Catch me if you can?
Mahbubani’s fake pilot antics remind of the famous con-artists Frank Abagnale, who continuously managed to fool authorities, when travelling the world in disguise as a pilot using a fake pilot ID card. Sound familiar?
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