ISLAMABAD – Detained crew members of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) arrived in Pakistan on Thursday after British authorities returned their passports following a heroin bust episode, last month.
According to Express News, the crew members of flight PK-785 returned to the country after they were given their passports confiscated by the National Crime Agency of Britain.
Reportedly, an investigation has been launched into the matter by the national flag carrier to determine how the drug was brought on-board the aircraft in Islamabad before flying to London.
British authorities had confirmed on Tuesday that they were investigating the matter relating to the recovery of narcotics from the London-bound flight.
Heroin Bust Saga
Apart from flight delays and cancellation, another constraint marring the credibility of the national flag carrier and the country is the spree of drug busts in recent past.
British authorities claimed to have recovered heroin on May 15 from a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight at Heathrow airport.
The National Crime Agency of Britain was investigating the matter relating to the recovery of narcotics from Islamabad to London flight PK-785 by the border security personnel.
A week after the London drug bust, 20 kilograms of heroin were recovered from a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight at Islamabad Airport.
Flight PK785 was destined to depart for London from Benazir Bhutto International Airport when it was searched in a scheduled inspection.
British National Arrested
In a rare coincidence, a British national who was trying to smuggle the drugs from Karachi to a foreign country was arrested by Pakistan Customs on Friday.
According to Chief Media Liaison Officer Qamar Thalho, preventive staff posted at Jinnah International Airport intercepted a passenger, who was trying to smuggle light brown heroin powder that had been concealed in his suitcases.
On measurement, the recovered heroin powder was found to weigh 7.75 kilogrammes and was worth Rs77.7 million.
The arrested passenger, identified as Jawed Ali, son of Qurban Ali, is a British national. He was travelling to London via Muscat on Oman Airlines flight No WY-326, said the Customs official.