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ISLAMABAD: A team from the capital police on Wednesday left for Karachi to arrest suspects in the Bhoja air crash in 2012.

The team includes officials from the Investigation Wing of the force, police officers said, and that senior civil judge Ghulam Rabbani had earlier issued arrest warrants for nine people suspected in the incident.

All 127 passengers and crew members on board flight B4-213 on its way from Islamabad from Karachi were killed when Bhoja Airlines Boeing 737 crashed in the Hussainabad Village in Kural, shortly before it was to land at Benazir Bhutto International Airport on April 20, 2012.

A criminal case was registered against some individuals at the Kural police station including the owner of the airlines. Police officials said a commission was also constituted to investigate the incident under the directives of the Islamabad High Court.

In its report, the commission held the owners and staff members of the airlines responsible along with officials of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Another case was registered against those held responsible by the commission.

According to police officials, a four-member team was constituted under the supervision of superintendent of Police Investigation Wing to investigate the incident. During investigation, the team approached the capital’s District and Session Court and obtained arrest warrants for nine accused identified in the commission report and during investigation.

A team of the capital police were sent to Karachi to arrest the suspects and bring them to the capital for interrogation, a police official said, and that all the suspects are owners and staff of Bhoja Air.

They include the chairman and chief executive, director, managing directors, director north, chief finance officer, director marketing, director MIS, director engineering and director operations of the airlines.

A senior police official told Dawn that only four of the accused were in Karachi and that the rest were abroad. The investigators have collected their travel history and tracked down their locations, he said.

He added that Interpol will be contacted for help in obtaining the arrest of the remaining five suspects as well.

The officer said that the investigators had written to CAA to ask about details of those who were related to or connected to the matter of issuing licences to Bhoja Air and the doomed flight.

Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2018