RAWALPINDI: Customs officials on Saturday foiled an attempt to smuggle foreign currency worth millions in Pakistani rupees from the new Islamabad international airport.
An investigation has also been launched to ascertain the possibility of involvement of staff deputed at the airport following an altercation between customs officials and the Airport Security Force (ASF) personnel during the action.
Majid Khan, a passenger from Abbottabad, successfully cleared all scanning counters to board flight PK-233 for Dubai along with his hand-carry luggage.
The custom officials, who had prior intelligence regarding the currency smuggling plot and wanted to identify the suspect’s facilitators, only sprang into action when Khan was comfortably sitting in the lounge, awaiting take-off.
However, customs inspector Ijaz Ahmed, who was on his way to take the suspect into custody, was intercepted by an ASF official in the passenger bridge, leading to an altercation between the two.
The ASF official also snatched Ahmed’s boarding pass; upon which, a high-ranking customs officer intervened and took the passenger into custody along with his luggage.
According to customs officials, a total of 109,110 UAE Dirhams, 2,000 Qatari riyals and some Pakistani currency amounting to PKR4.5 million was recovered from the suspect’s possession.
Travellers are only allowed to carry $10,000 or equivalent currency when leaving Pakistan.