File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )
Two flight steward of cash-strapped Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have been detained by the French authorities after one of them was allegedly caught with drugs in Paris, according to a media report.
Four packets of drugs were recovered from hidden pockets of Tanveer Gulzar's coat during his body search, French officials were quoted as saying by the Dawn News.
However, they have not disclosed whether it was heroin, cocaine or hashish.
The rest of the crew members of the Islamabad-Paris flight PK-749 returned to Pakistan yesterday.
"Though drugs have been recovered from the possession of the cabin crew member, the PIA management has not been informed about the kind and quantity of drugs," PIA spokesman Mashood Tajwar said.
"Tanveer Gulzar, the PIA steward who was caught with drugs by the French customs while going to a hotel for rest, has been suspended by the management and will be terminated from service in the light of the outcome of the investigation conducted by the French authorities," he said.
It is uncertain whether the flight steward will be punished in France or will be deported, he added.
Tajwar said another steward of the same flight, Amir Moeen, had been detained by the French authorities though he had not been charged so far. He has been detained for interrogation in the light of Tanveer's statement, the report said.
"Amir Moeen will also be suspended and will be sacked if his involvement in drug smuggling is proven by the French authorities," the spokesman said.
Such an incident is not a novelty for PIA, which is already plagued by financial woes.
PIA has been suffering huge losses and administration is trying to improve the situation but the airline is frequently facing embarrassment.
In May 2017, a PIA plane flying to Heathrow Airport was thoroughly searched and its 14 member crew detained by British authorities after landing in London over information that there were narcotics on board the flight.
The 14 crew members were kept in detention for five hours and, according to UK Border Agency (UKBA) sources.
According to the information, there was a suspicion that the crew might be involved and the narcotics were hidden in different panels and areas of the plane, the report said.