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21kg heroin found in PIA plane at Islamabad airport

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ISLAMABAD: A bid to smuggle heroin was foiled at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport on Monday when 21 kilogrammes of the contraband was seized from a London-bound flight of the national carrier.

PIA plane at Islamabad airport
PIA plane at Islamabad airport

The drugs were found by the Pakistan International Airlines’ vigilance team concealed in catering galley of PK-785.

Although the plane was cleared to fly to London, the smuggler remained unidentified.

Prime Minister’s Aviation Adviser Sardar Mehtab Abbasi ordered an immediate inquiry into the incident and posted AIG Hussain Asghar as the inquiry head.

The airline has also decided that all international flights would be cleared only after thorough checking of the aircraft.

A spokesperson of PIA has informed that the aviation division has issued directives calling for the checking of every international flight by Anti Narcotic Force, PIA Securities, PIA Vigilance, Customs Intelligence and other institutions.

Last week, heroin concealed in packets was seized from a PIA flight in an intelligence-based operation carried out by the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) at London’s Heathrow Airport.

“NCA officers are investigating following the seizure of heroin found by Border Force officers on a flight from Pakistan at Heathrow Airport on Monday, May 15,” an NCA spokesperson had told Geo News. “No arrests have been made, but inquiries are ongoing.”

Customs officials who investigated the discovery of narcotics, seized in London, believed the heroin was hidden in the plane while it was in Karachi on May 8.

Earlier in April, 15kg heroin estimated to be worth Rs300 million in the international market was seized from a plane inside the hangar at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi.

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