PIA crew members detained in London for alleged heroin smuggling

PIA crew of Lahore-bound flight detained by British Police at London airport

PIA crew of Lahore-bound flight detained by British Police at London airport

The spokesperson of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Tuesday dismissed earlier reports that the airlines' crew members were detained at London's Heathrow Airport over security threats.

Flight PK-785, plying between Islamabad and London, arrived at Heathrow on Monday afternoon.

The Metropolitan police said in a statement earlier that action against PIA crew members was taken by the UK Border Agency (UKBA), which is directly dealt by the home office.

Pakistani embassy officials in London have confirmed that the PIA plane had been thoroughly checked and its crew was held for about eight hours but the British authorities have not yet officially conveyed to Pakistan about the recovery of narcotics.

He added that the passports of the crew members had been returned to them.

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The flight, meanwhile, was later cleared to take off from Heathrow Airport with replacement crew members.

Sources in the Pakistan Customs said the plane was with PIA's maintenance department in Karachi for around 20 hours on May 8, following which it flew to Lahore, Islamabad and then London on May 16.

The PIA management in London was trying to find out the reasons for the search of the plane and reports of detention, the official added.

"I am extremely concerned as to why the British authorities did not officially share the incident with Pakistan", the adviser said. The pilot of another flight allegedly took a two-and-a-half hour nap in business class during an Islamabad to London flight, while the pilot of a flight plying between Tokyo and Beijing allowed a Chinese woman to remain in the cockpit for nearly the entire duration of the journey.

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