Islamabad, Jan 3 (PTI) Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has admitted that some of its officials in connivance with the employees of national carrier PIA have been involved in a human smuggling ring that also worked in Europe, according to media report on Thursday.

A report forwarded by the FIA director general to the interior ministry and the Establishment Division on Wednesday highlighted that human smuggling investigation was carried out on a complaint by the British High Commission in 2014, the Dawn reported.

The paper quoting its sources in the Interior Ministry, said the report dated January 1, 2019, was received by the ministry on Wednesday and it “clearly blamed the Anti-Human Trafficking Cell of FIA for not taking any action over the complaint.” According to the complaint, 20 Afghan nationals caught at Heathrow airport in London were smuggled from Benazir Bhutto International Airport Islamabad (BBIAP).

The report has blamed then FIA director Inam Ghani for “thrashing the inquiry”.

“He being director of FIA Islamabad Zone removed legal barriers such as the checking of flights just to facilitate the human smuggling through BBIAP, without his connivance it was impossible for the PIA and FIA immigration staff at BBIAP to run the human smuggling network of Afghan nationals on fake Pakistani passports, the report said.

The report added: This matter was otherwise a national security threat in the prevailing circumstances of Afghan / Taliban playing havoc in the country. The report has said that the inquiry into the matter did not proceed further and the accused in the initial inquiry continued to be posted at the same airport and the investigation was diverted on the grounds that the Afghan nationals did not pass through the FIA immigration counter.

The investigation conducted by the FIA in 2014-15 showed that there was no data of Afghan nationals at the Integrated Border Management Sys tem (IBMS) maintained by the FIA immigration cell, and there was no CCTV footage of those persons crossing the FIA counter at the airport.

It was stated in the investigation report that the Afghan nationals were smuggled out through the domestic departure longue bypassing the FIA immigration counter, the report said and added that these claims were proven false in later inquiries.

However, the detailed report finalised by the FIA DG has highlighted that the CCTV footage of the FIA was corrupted deliberately whereas the CCTV footage of the Civil Aviation Authority proved that the Afghan nationals caught at Heathrow travelled through the FIA counter but their passports were not scanned at the IBMS.

To match the numbers of passengers travelling on the PIA flight to London the FIA officials duplicated the data of genuine passengers so that their total number in FIA data was the same as the number of boarding pass issued by the airline.

The report unearthed that each group was accompanied with one carrier or facilitator who was responsible to take the smuggled persons out of airport in the UK, the daily said.

An interior ministry official said about 30 FIA officials, who had been suspected to be involved in the human smuggling, had been suspended.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.