South Asia

PIA crew detained for smuggling 24 iPhones from U.K.

The entire crew of a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from London to Lahore was detained by customs officials in Lahore for six hours for allegedly smuggling 24 iPhones worth about Rs 2.5 million and also foreign currency, the second such incident in a month.

The customs officials at Allama Iqbal International Airport got a tip-off that the crew of PK-758 flight, operated by Captain Amir Hashmi would smuggle a large quantity of high-end cell phones from the U.K.

“The customs authorities took Captain Hashmi and 11 other crew members into custody after 24 iPhones were recovered from the luggage of an air hostess,” an official said on Monday.

“The accused are office-bearers of the PIA staff union (CBA) and they did it under a plan. They first managed to get their duties changed by requesting the actual crew members for the flight in connivance with the relevant admin staff,” Dawn quoted a senior PIA official as saying.

He said 5,000 pounds were also recovered from the possession of Captain Hashmi.

After detention, the customs officials freed the crew finally on the intervention of Adviser to Prime Minister on Aviation Shujaat Azeem, The Nation reported.

A case was registered against the air hostess from whose luggage the iPhones were recovered.

“Strict action will be taken if any of the PIA employee is found in smuggling of smartphones and other articles,” PIA spokesman Mashhood Tajwar said.

In August, the customs authorities recovered 37 smartphones of different brands, three tablets and 5,000 pounds from a crew member of PIA flight PK-786 from London.


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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 3:23:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/pakistan-international-airlines-crew-detained-for-smuggling-24-iphones-from-london/article6435693.ece

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