Rift between Customs, PIA intensifies over $1.6m smuggled heroin

Dutch Coast Guard seizes 1.2kg cocaine, arrest 7 aboard roro vessel

The rift between the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and the Customs authorities is intensifying with every passing day over the issue of recovering the huge amount of heroin from a plane of a national carrier stand in a hanger.

Sources informed that the high-ups of both the federal entities are in continuous touch over resolving the issues. However, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) were of the view that its staff was not involved in smuggling of the contraband items.

However, Chief Collector-Enforcement (South) Muhammad Zahid Khokhar and the investigative team of MCC-Preventive have reportedly found that the PIA staffers were allegedly involved in transporting the heroin from one destination to other.

Replying to a query, Khokhar said that the PIA staff including loaders were also found involved in transporting the heroin from one destination to other in the past, adding that the investigation into the case is underway.

Customs authorities had seized heroin worth an estimated $1.6 million hidden on board a Saudi Arabia-bound aircraft operated by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Thursday.

The packets of heroin were found in a compartment normally used for stowing trolleys, said Khokhar.

“To be exact the seized quantity is 16.7 kg (36.8 lb) estimated to worth around Rs170 million ($1.62 million),” Khokar said.

The plane was due to fly to the city of Jeddah.

In August, authorities arrested 12 employees of cash-strapped PIA following the discovery of six kg of heroin on board a Dubai-bound plane.

PIA said CEO Bernd Hildenbrand had ordered an investigation and that action would be taken against anyone found to be involved.


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