RAWALPINDI: The Federal Investigation Age­ncy (FIA) has asked the management of the natio­nal flag carrier to share details of a case involving a member of the PIA cabin crew, who has been detained by Cana­dian authorities for carrying contraband items, a senior PIA official told Dawn.

Hina Sani, a member of the PIA crew on a Lahore-Toronto flight, was detai­ned last week for allegedly carrying passports of unrelated persons, an immigration stamp and a contraband item allegedly concealed in her shoes.

She is likely to be produced before a Canadian court on Wednesday.Sources said the PIA management had expanded its own investigation into the issue by including the crew scheduler and deputy general manager (flight services) who had authorised her to travel to Canada.

She was detained along with two other crew members who were also on duty on the PIA flight PK-789. While her colleagues were freed, Hina was grilled for three hours before the Canadian authorities fina­lised a charge sheet and converted her detention into a formal arrest, sources said.

The PIA management, sources say, is trying to stay informed about the case while staying away from any legal proceedings.

Canadian authorities are said to have formally informed her family about the charges against Ms Sani, who are currently in the process of hiring legal counsel in Toronto to obtain her interim bail.

She may be deported and blacklisted, or kept in jail until the conclusion of the case, sources said.

The PIA management has already suspended the cabin crew member from active service, and its central disciplinary unit has obtained the statements of the crew members who were detained alongside Ms Sani.

PIA spokesman Abdul­lah Hafeez confirmed Ms Sani’s arrest in Toronto and said the management in Toronto was keeping an eye on developments in her case. He said the airline was also in discussions to send a high-profile team to Canada to formalise preventive measures, to be put in place with the support of Canadian authorities.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2024

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