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    Saturday, 10 March 2018

    French airport officials detain PIA flight steward for alleged heroin possession

    A Pakistan International Airline (PIA) steward was detained in Paris by French airport authorities for allegedly being in possession of four kilogrammes of heroin, South Punjab news reported on Saturday.
    The suspect, according to reports, was carrying four packets of heroin weighing one kilogramme each, worth at least Rs40 million.
    The flight was bound from Paris to Islamabad. According to a notice sent to PIA authorities, the plane's crew, as well as the three pilots, were made to undergo thorough checking and were detained at the airport for several hours.
    So far, the PIA has received no official confirmation of the incident from the French authorities. However, the national carrier's spokesperson, Mashood Tajwar, said that the suspect had been suspended from service until further investigation. If the allegations are proven to be true, he will be terminated, Tajwar added.The suspect was the vice president of PIA CBA and was appointed to the flight on the union's recommendation, reports say.French authorities interrogated the whole crew of PIA’s flight PK-749 to investigate the drug smuggling case and arrested one more official.

    According to Express News, French Customs officers launched an inquiry into the drug smuggling case, after they detected narcotics in the airport screening.
    French officials raided a hotel in Paris, where the flight crew sojourning at a hotel in Paris was searched. Sources reveal that a flight attendant was arrested from the hotel.
    The cabin crew of Flight PK-749 will return to Pakistan today, Sunday 11th February and the arrested steward’s name has been taken off that list of returning PIA officials.
    One day ago, flight official Tanweer Gulzar on flight PK-749 traveling from Islamabad to Paris, was arrested in Paris, after he was found in possession of illegal drugs. Tanweer was found carrying 400 kilogrammes of heroin.
    According to the PIA spokesperson, the French police while conducting the routine inspection reportedly found illegal drugs in Gulzar’s possession.
    Earlier this year, the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) seized 673 kilogrammes (kg) narcotics valuing Rs658.66 million in the international market, arrested 30 people, including two women, involved in drug smuggling, and impounded eight vehicles in 22 counter-narcotics strikes across the country.
    In a report the authority shared last year, the authority said to have conducted simultaneous operations in Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi to bust the drug cartel, unearthing four major cases of drug trafficking in PIA planes.
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