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FIA asks UK to send back human smuggling suspects

By Mohammad Asghar 2017-05-31
RAWALPINDI: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has asked British authorities to cancel visas issued to two suspected human smugglers, who managed to fly out of Benazir Bhutto International Airport on Sunday.

A senior FIA official told Dawn that the agency had written to UK authorities and asked them to revoke the travel authorization issued to the two suspects, who managed to travel to London via PK-785, even as three Afghan women travelling on forged UK documents were taken into custody.

In addition, the two FIA of ficialswho were on duty when boarding cards were issued to the three women have been removed from the airport and directed to report to headquarters to face an inquiry.

The three women have also been sent on judicial remand.

The FIA has stepped up efforts to ensure the recovery of the two suspects said to be the handler and the mastermind of the human smuggling ring from the UK.

British authorities have been requested to send the two back to Pakistan so that the gang of human smugglers operating from Afghanistan could be traced and their agents in Pakistan could be arrested.

The FIA said it has also frozen the bank accounts of the two wanted human smugglers, although their names are being withheld to prevent other members of the gang from getting wind of their capture.

Meanwhile, two senior Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) officials, who were arrested on onMonday, were remanded in FIA custodyforthree dayseach.

The two officials, PIA Task Force In-Charge Israr Ahmed and Desk Of ficer Malik Naeem, were booked by the FIA after the three Afghan women were spotted sitting in the international departures lounge.

When questioned, the women said that they intended to fly to Kabul instead of boarding the London flight.

Israr Ahmed was responsible for giving clearance to international passengers after examining their passports.

Later, the British passports, on which the three boarding cards for the London-hound PK-785 were issued to the three women, were found from a dustbin, after which the women were taken into custody by FIA.

The three women claimed during preliminary investigation that they had paid $20,000 each to a jewelercum-travel agent to arrange their journey in connivance with another agent in Peshawar.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 ofnoading of these passengers after being intimated by the British police.

A senior FIA official said the human smuggling gang had been unearthed and would be arrested soon.

The embattled national flag carrier has been beset with crises following the detection of drug smuggling on PIA flights to London. On May 15, heroin was discovered on a PIA plane at Heathrow Airport, while more drugs were recovered from another plane heading to London from Islamabad on May 22.