14 PIA employees arrested for involvement in smuggling drugs

The anti-narcotics force said more than 100 PIA staff members were interrogated or interviewed over the past month, after which the culprits were apprehended.
(File photo)
(File photo)
Updated on Jun 24, 2017 09:29 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Islamabad | ByImtiaz Ahmad

Pakistan’s Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) has arrested 14 employees of Pakistan’s national flag carrier on charges of being involved in smuggling drugs through the airline’s aircraft.

Of the 14, nine were arrested in Karachi, where Pakistan International Airlines has its headquarters, while five more were detained in Rawalpindi and Lahore.

ANF director general Maj Gen Musarrat Nawaz Malik told a news conference on Friday that those arrested included members of the airline’s union and an IT technician who had information about where aircraft were parked and their flight schedule.

Four employees of the airport security force were also involved in the racket, which had been going on for several years.

The ANF said more than 100 staff members were interrogated or interviewed over the past month, after which the culprits were arrested. The last person to be arrested was a former baggage handler of the airline.

Giving details, Malik said the network of people that was part of this operation was very wide, including baggage handlers, cleaners, sanitary workers, baggage staff, ticketing staff and airline crew. Six members of his own organisation were involved in the racket, he said.

Over the past year, there were at least eight drug seizures from PIA aircraft, including two in the UK.

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