PIA airlines was hit with yet another scandal after 20kg of heroin was recovered onboard a London-bound flight from Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA) sparking rumours of staff taking bribes.

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The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) on Monday foiled a bid to smuggle the large quantity of drugs into the UK after they found it hidden in various parts of the plane.

An ANF official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “Two packets of heroin each weighting 10 kg were found in a closet used to keep catering items in the plane.” He added that the heroin was recovered with the help of sniffer dogs.

The ANF official also confirmed 5 PIA cabin crew members were taken into custody.

He went on to say the mobile data of all the accused employees had been obtained and would be examined.

When the scheduled search was started, no passenger was on board as only sweepers and catering staff were busy performing their duties, said the official. He added that two catering trolleys were inside the plane when it was searched.

Meanwhile, adviser to Prime Minister on Aviation Sardar Mahtab Khan said the plane was searched after heroin was seized from a PIA plane at London Heathrow airport about a week ago.

He also said while talking to the media, said further inquiry into the recovery of the narcotics was underway.

It was also reported that Maryam Nawaz, daughter of the prime minister, was scheduled to fly to London in the same flight. She reportedly returned to Islamabad from the airport after she learnt that narcotics had been found on the plane. However, she later took the same flight after the plane was cleared to fly.

During the earlier case this month on May 16 PIA crew members were detained by Britain’s National Crime Agency after heroin was found on a PIA flight at London’s Heathrow Airport.