QUETTA, June 7: The Frontier Corps personnel on Saturday seized a UN vehicle near Shella Bagh area in the Qila Abdullah district, foiling an attempt to smuggle a large quantity of flour to Afghanistan.
The trailer was being used by the World Food Programme for supplying sugar and edible oil for refugees in Afghanistan.
“The FC personnel have recovered 200 tons of flour from a trailer sealed under the WFP invoice,” which, officials said, showed edible oil and sugar were being taken to Afghanistan and not flour.
The sources said that WFP authorities had been approached in Islamabad to expose the elements involved in the illegal business.
The sources said the illegal trade was exposed when a 22-wheel trailer that was on its way to Kandahar via Chaman border overturned at the Khojak Pass and the flour bags fell out.
No edible oil or sugar was found on the trailer.
It was learnt that the flour had been purchased from a flour mill in Quetta.
Sources said that the driver and other people travelling with him escaped after the accident.
The WFP officials, when contacted by the FC authorities in Islamabad, said they did not know anything about flour smuggling and denied that the WFP was involved in the affair.
They said the foodstuff was loaded in Karachi under the supervision of WFP officials, adding that the UN agency legally supplied wheat to Afghanistan and not flour.
According to the sources, initial investigation showed that the driver and some WFP staff might be involved in the illegal practice because opening and re-sealing the container was not a difficult task. “The container can be re-sealed in Quetta after loading it with flour,” they said.
The matter has been referred to the provincial food department, the sources told Dawn, adding that owner of the flour mill would be interrogated.
The officials were also trying to know where the edible oil and sugar mentioned in the WFP invoice had gone.
The sources said the government had decided to let the FC personnel randomly check WFP trailers carrying supplies to Afghanistan.