Islamabad: Pakistan`s anti-narcotics
authorities on Saturday arrested eight persons on charges of
attempting to smuggle narcotics to Saudi Arabia on a special
flight for Haj pilgrims, officials said.
Two persons were arrested from a transit camp for
pilgrims in Peshawar while six others were offloaded from a
Jeddah-bound Pakistan International Airlines flight in the
northwestern city, Anti-Narcotics Force Commandant Brig
Muhammad Amir Khan said.
ANF officials said the six persons arrested from the
flight had consumed heroin-filled capsules and they had been
taken to a hospital to remove these capsules.
A woman was among the arrested persons.
Officials at the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar
said 60 heroin-filled capsules were recovered from one person.
They said the persons could be carrying up to six
kilograms of heroin.
Khan said authorities had received information that
some people in the guise of pilgrims would try to smuggle
narcotics to Saudi Arabia from Peshawar.
Anti-narcotics officials were put on high alert at
Peshawar international airport and the Haj Complex where
pilgrims stay for a few days before travelling to Saudi
ANF personnel raided the Haj Complex and arrested two
persons this morning. Six others were subsequently offloaded
from the Jeddah-bound flight.
All those arrested are Pakistani nationals and six
belong to central Punjab province and two to northwestern
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, officials said.
Khan said the arrested persons are being questioned
about their links with international smugglers.
Pakistani authorities regularly issue warning to
passengers travelling abroad to avoid smuggling narcotics as
the crime carries the death penalty.
Dozens of Pakistanis had been arrested in Saudi Arabia
in the past on charges of drug smuggling and several have been