Sensitive agencies come onboard as foreigners arrested transporting narcotics worth $15 million

KARACHI: Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) and Pakistan Customs in a joint action foiled a bid to smuggle hashish worth Rs1.5 billion ($15 million) and arrested nine smugglers including three foreigners.

This development has invited the attention of sensitive agencies, as arrest of foreigners and recovery of such huge quantity of narcotics makes it a rather high-profile case upshot attack on police training academy in Quetta, as the sources said transporting such value of narcotics was not the usual pattern of smugglers.

Smuggling has been the prime source of funding terrorist and anti-social elements. Sources said the investigation would determine whether this movement of Rs1.5 billion worth of narcotics by foreigners was linked to any terrorist attack; it would also be investigated if something was being planned and needed resources.

Addressing a crowded press conference in the PMSA headquarters along with Saeed Akram Collector Gawadar, PMSA Director General Rear Admiral Jameel Akhtar said on an intelligence information, the PMSA and Customs Gawadar conducted the biggest operation in history in the international waters on the western boundary and recovered 2400 kilograms of high quality hashish from a suspicious boat and arrested nine accused including three foreigners and confiscated their boat. The value of the recovered hashish in the international market is more than Rs1.5 billion.

The DG PMSA further told that when the smugglers saw the fast response boat of the PMSA, they tried to flee, and due to high speed the boat of the smugglers caught fire.  The fast response boat of the PMSA first doused the fire and later arrested the smugglers and confiscated their boat. The accused were handed over to the Pakistan Customs Gawadar Collectorate for further legal action. Earlier, the accused were presented before the media.

Talking to media on the occasion, Collector Gawadar Saeed Akram said eliminating smuggling and all type of illegal activities is amongst top priorities of the Customs.

He said in the year 2015, the FC, PMSA and other institutions ensured to stop the smuggling of diesel, which increased revenue of Rs9billion to the national exchequer. He said that Pakistan Customs during 2015 lodged 54 FIRs and in these cases 26 criminals were convicted.

He thanked all institutions, particularly the PMSA. On the occasion, deputy director general PMSA Commodore Abdul Majid, Lt Commander Wajid Nawaz, Lt Imran Bhalai, Anush Khalid, Saleem Awan, Assistant Customs Collector Gawadar Kaleemullah, Superintendent Anti-Smuggling Customs Gawadar Muhammad Saleem Khokhar and others were present.

Pakistan is passing through a critical phase at the moment faced with tremendous opportunities including China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as well as facing challenges and threats at the same time.

The military leadership and political government are well coordinated in their commitment towards the betterment and development of the nation, however some other political forces in the country seems to be pursuing some foreign agenda.

General Raheel Sharif has been the catalyst that enabled the country getting out of trouble waters and smooth sailing is foreseen. And, this is a popular opinion that Pakistan desperately needs a catalyst to ensure its growth as a civilized and economically secure nation.

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