Flight to Colombo recalled, red sandalwood smugglers taken off

Indo Asian News Service

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 25 (IANS) A Sri Lankan Airlines flight from here to Colombo was recalled after it left Tuesday and three passengers were later taken off and booked for smuggling red sandalwood, an official said.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, an airline official told IANS the flight, which departed from here at 9.40 a.m. was recalled on a request by customs officials, who reported presence of a smuggling gang on board the aircraft.

The customs officials found that around 90 kg of red sandalwood was being smuggled to Thailand from here.

"Three people, all residents of the capital city, have been booked by the officials," said the airline official.

After the three were taken off the flight, the aircraft took off for Colombo, the airline official said, adding the instance of recalling an airborne aircraft is very rare.