ISLAMABAD: Taking offence at the delay in fixing responsibility for stashing away around 30 kg of heroin in two different flights of the national flag carrier, a parliamentary panel on Tuesday gave a 60-day deadline to investigating authorities for completing the task.
According to details, the matter was taken up by the National Assembly Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat with Rana Muhammad Hayat Khan in the chair.
Big cache of heroin seized, one arrested at Benazir Bhutto International Airport
During the proceedings, the committee expressed displeasure over the slow progress in investigations. The Customs and Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) were unable to fix responsibility for hiding heroin in two different flights of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
It was during the month of May when Customs officials recovered over 27kg heroin from a PIA aircraft during an intelligence-based raid in Karachi. Officials conducted the raid at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport, and seized nine packets of heroin from the lavatory of a Europe-bound aircraft parked in the hangar. In November last year 3 kg heroin was also found in a Dubai-bound flight of the PIA.
Chairman of the committee took exception to the delay in fixing responsibility.
Over 27 kg heroin recovered from PIA aircraft at Karachi airport
The committee directed that a joint investigation committee – comprising representatives of PIA, ANF and Airport Security Force (ASF) and headed by Customs department – be constituted to expedite the investigation process so that culprits could be penalised.
“I am surprised to see that no institution is ready to take responsibility,” said MNA Syed Ali Raza Abidi, a member of the committee, while talking to The Express Tribune.
Abidi said merely a cleaner had been suspended and arrested so far.
Responding to a question, he said, “A powerful drug cartel must have been behind the smuggling of drugs but action must be taken against those who are behind.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2016.
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