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Three Afghan women held with fake UK passports

By Mohammad Asghar 2017-05-30
RAWALPINDI: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested two PIA ground staff members handling the London-bound flight PK-785 and detained two senior officials of the immigration department at Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA) after the British border police informed Pakistani authorities about three Afghan national women travelling on fake British passports from Islamabad.

Israr Ahmed, who is associated with the PIA task force, and Naeem Malik, responsible for issuing boarding cards to passengers, were taken into custody by the FIA while two officials of the agency`s immigration department were also detained for investigation though they have not been booked yet.

The of ficials were detained af ter three British passports and boarding cards stamped by the FIA immigration were found in a dustbin in the international departure lounge.

The three Afghan women had paid $20,000 each to a jeweller cum travel agent in Kabul for travelling to the UK on British passports which were already blacklisted.

The women had come to the passenger lounge at the BBIA and got three boarding cards for PK-249 for Kabul but were later given boarding cards for PK-786 allegedly by PIA of ficer Israr Ahmed.

According to a source, the three women were checked in by the PIA even though they were informed by British authorities that they were travelling to London on black listed passports.

Announcements were made for the women to contact immigration as they waited for their flight to London but the women did not approach immigration.

The three passports and immigration cards were later found from a dustbin by a sweeper who handed them over to FIA officials.

The women denied they were travelling to London and that their destination was Kabul. They were taken into custody by the FIA and shifted to the passport cell.

In its report, the PIA said: `Three women, Merwah Rhes, Hussain Amjed and Anis Sara booked on PK-785 May 28, 2017. Checked in by Mr Malik Naeem Akram c/o Mr Israr Ahmed, PIA task force in-charge and boarding card handed over to him as the passengers were his guests as per Mr Israr`s statement`.

The report said an email had been received from Karachi regarding the offloading of these passengers af ter being intimated by the British police.

After the discovery of the passports and boarding passes, the report said, the three passengers were found in the departure lounge holding Afghan passports without boarding cards.

The passengers were handed over to the FIA for further investigation.

According to a source, PIA flight PK-785 was not given clearance for take-off till the passports and boarding cards were not found.

Director FIA Islamabad Mazharul Haq Kakakhel confirmed that two PIA officials were arrested and two FIA officials were detained for questioning after three Afghan women attempted to board the London bound flight on fake passports.

`The FIAimmigration officials are underinvestigation and they will be treated accordingly if found guilty,` he said.

He said the mastermind behind the operation and the manager of the gang of human smugglers had managed to travel on PK-786 and that the FIA had launched raids to arrest other members of the gang which operated from Afghanistan and Peshawar.