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Worker caught hiding in plane carrying Dutch embassy staff

RAWALPINDI: A sanitation worker of the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) was caught hiding on a special plane en route to the Netherlands at the Islamabad International Airport (IIA).

He was later sent to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Anti-Human Trafficking Cell (AHTC) for further investigation.

The aircraft was carrying staff of the Dutch embassy from Kabul to the Netherlands. In what could be considered a security breach, the worker – on duty at the airport’s transit lounge – changed into normal clothes that he had been carrying with him and boarded the plane that had 173 staff members of the Dutch embassy on board.

Dr Atif Ikram, additional director FIA (immigration), told media that the sanitation worker was spotted when all of the 173 passengers – after transit – had embarked on the plane.

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN – APRIL 22: Turkish citizens wait at Islamabad International Airport, ahead of their departure to Turkey, on April 22, 2020 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Turkey evacuated its 133 citizens stranded in Pakistan due to suspended flights as part of the measures taken to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. (Photo by Muhammed Semih Ugurlu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

He said the FIA immigration had nothing to do with transit passengers as it was the responsibility of the handling agency to count the number of passengers to ensure their presence. While the passengers were being counted, the special flight crew spotted an extra person on board, he added.

After preliminary questioning, the worker was unable to explain his presence on the plane which led to his disembarkation and handing over to the security staff.

Ahmed Mukhtar Naqshbandi

Media person and communication expert for over 25 years. Worked with Dow Jones News, World Bank, CNBC Pakistan, Aaj TV, ARY TV, Abbtakk TV, Business Recorder, Pakistan Observer, Online News Network, TTI Magazine and other local and world Publications.

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