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ASF recovers heroin from Bahrain-bound passenger at Islamabad airport

ASF recovers heroin from Bahrain-bound passenger at Islamabad airport

The Airport Security Force (ASF) on Thursday foiled an attempt to smuggle drugs to Bahrain, seizing a kilogramme of heroin from a passenger travelling from the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad.

According to the ASF, the drugs were recovered from the passenger's luggage during a security check-in for Gulf Air 771 at the Islamabad airport.

The passenger, a resident of Mardan, was handed over to the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF).

An official told DawnNews that Shah was later shifted to the ANF police station in Rawalpindi, where a case was registered against him and an investigation initiated.

The ASF added that it was possible Shah was working as part of an organised group to smuggle drugs abroad.

The incident follows a spiralling number of cases of narcotics being recovered from flights originating from Pakistan.

Last month, 20kg of heroin were recovered from a PIA London-bound flight before it departed from Islamabad Airport.

The drugs were recovered from flight 785 during a scheduled inspection.

A week before that, in a similar drug bust, British officials had found a "quantity of heroin" on the same flight, but in a different aircraft, after it landed at London's Heathrow Airport.

British authorities had detained five members of the crew after the bust on charges of smuggling and money laundering.

In an attempt to curb drug trafficking via the national carrier, a body was formed to unearth an “organised gang” believed to be involved in smuggling narcotics out of the country.

The Central Operational Committee (COC), headed by the Civil Aviation Authority director general, was also tasked with ensuring foolproof security at all airports across the country. It comprises experts from the ASF, ANF, Customs and PIA.

Some of the security measures already being taken at four major airports include restricting the movement of people in the aircraft parking apron, deploying security guards around parked airplanes, and installing surveillance cameras.

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