Pakistan International Airlines official suspended for allowing 10 Afghans to fly to UK

Islamabad: A PIA official has been suspended alongwith three senior immigration officials after 10 Afghan nationals were allowed to fly from Islamabad to London on fake documents, ringing alarm bells in the UK of suspected human
trafficking and terrorism.

Pakistan International Airlines management yesterday suspended Khurram Shahzad, a member of the task force which had cleared visas and passports of the Afghans at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport here.

The Afghan nationals were taken into custody after they had landed at the Heathrow airport last week and the British High Commission had officially complained to the Pakistani government for initiating an inquiry into the matter.

Earlier on Saturday, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) inspector, a general checker at Bhutto airport and a counter official, who had checked the travel documents of the Afghans at the immigration counter were suspended after a epartmental inquiry was initiated against them.

Two senior FIA officials, a deputy director and an assistant director had also been transferred.

"The accused officials of the airline and immigration would be investigated to reach other people involved the scam," FIA director Inam Ghani was quoted as saying by the Dawn.

PIA, which already is in a financial mess has been in the news for a series of scandals involving its staff that has
rocked the international image of Pakistan's national carrier.

Only last month, a PIA air-hostess was arrested in Italy after illegal drugs were recovered from her luggage at the Milan airport, and an air-hostess and a steward were arrested at Lahore airport for trying to smuggle 24 iphones worth about Rs 2.5 million into Pakistan from the UK.

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