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Heroin "concealed in packets" was seized on board a flight of the ailing Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) at Heathrow airport, British authorities said today.
The narcotics was seized from PK 785 passenger plane that arrived at the London airport from Islamabad. The plane was searched and its 14-member crew detained for questioning after it landed at the UK's busiest airport yesterday at 2:50pm.
UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) confirmed that drugs were found on board the flight.
"National Crime Agency officers are investigating following the seizure of a quantity of heroin found by Border Force officers on board a flight from Pakistan at Heathrow on Monday. No arrests have been made, enquiries are ongoing," an NCA spokesman told Pakistan's Geo News.
Earlier today, Dawn reported that as passengers disembarked, the flight crew and aircraft were searched by the authorities. More than a dozen crew members were released after being detained for nearly two hours by the British authorities, PIA spokesman Mashood Tajwar said.
"We have not been informed as to why was the crew detained?" said Tajwar.
The search was carried out by UK Border Security Agency on suspicion that drugs were hidden on board the aircraft.
PIA has been suffering huge losses and administration is trying to improve the situation but it frequently faces embarrassment.
In January, as many as seven passengers were forced to stand throughout the over three-hour flight from Karachi to Madina after the airline boarded excess passengers in a serious breach of air safety regulations.
A month later, a Heathrow-bound PIA aircraft was intercepted and escorted by fighter jets to Stansted Airport in northeast London because of a "vague security threat".
Later, a suspect was arrested and charged with fraud and misrepresentation by the police.