FIA officer arrested for smuggling smartphones worth millions

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July 24, 2019
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Though the telecom regulator of the country, PTA is applying efforts to curb smuggling of smartphones by blocking unregistered and non-approved mobile phones, some officials of FIA itself are found to be involved in smartphone smuggling.

The Airport Security Force (ASF) has recently arrested a Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) officer for smuggling around 60 mobile phones expected to be worth around Rs. 4 million at Islamabad airport. The ASF staff which was performing duty on the security points at Islamabad airport when they found a bag full of mobile phones from the custody of the FIA official as the suspect was coming out of the airport. “The official was involved in smuggling of 60 cell phones”, the ASF authorities said, as reported by ARY News.

Interestingly, the arrested FIA official had been in ASF’s radar since June and the authorities suspected him to be involved in illegal activities. ASF team successfully caught the personal red-handed during a search at the security point. During his arrest, he identified two more officials that were involved with the smuggling.

The smuggled mobile phones have been a major problem for Pakistan’s sinking economy and now after reports of involvement of FIA officials in such illegal activities could further worsen the situation. However, it is worth mentioning here that in order to set an example for officials involved in such illegal activities, Director General FIA Basheer Memon has immediately acted and suspended FIA officers found involved in the matter. The three suspended officers have been identified as sub-inspector Javed Iqbal, sub-inspector Akhtar Iqbal, and Constable Waqas Bhatti.

While giving strict remarks against the culprits involved in the matter, DG FIA Basheer Memon has said that there was no place in FIA for people involved in illegal activities. He vowed to take strict action against the suspended officials if found guilty.

In this regard, DG FIA has also asked Director Immigration Nasir Mahmood Satti to investigate the matter and submit a report as soon as possible.

Well, the countermeasures by FIA to restrict the involvement of its officers in such matter are appreciable, yet such incidents have become a frequent problem with agency. Just last month, ASF staff had come into action after recovery of 772-gram heroin from possession of a food constable of FIA at Karachi airport.

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