Islamabad: Myanmar, Syria embassies detected involved in illegal liquor trade
ISLAMABAD: According to the Dawn News on Saturday, the embassies of Myanmar and Syria on Friday were also found involved in the illegal trade of foreign liquor in the capital, police said.
The police seized liquor outside the home of Myanmar ambassador in street 59 of sector F-11/4 as it was being taken off from a container on a truck. The ambassador also gave shelter to a person under whose supervision the consignment was taken into the house to avoid his arrest.
A Shalimar police team spotted a truck loaded with a container during patrolling around 2:30am. The police found labourers transferring boxes wrapped with black plastic bags from the container to the envoy’s house.
The team informed senior officers who rushed to the spot as the street was cordoned off. The police took into custody the truck’s driver, his helper and the labourers.
By the time police took control of the truck, two-thirds of liquor had been shifted to the envoy’s residence.
A person, identified as Asif, who was supervising the consignment’s transfer informed the ambassador about the police presence.
Ambassador U Tin Oo asked the police to release the consignment as it was owned by the Myanmar embassy in Islamabad.
But when the police asked for Foreign Office examination and customs certificates, the ambassador along with Asif went inside the house and locked the main gate. The police remained at the spot for half an hour to verify the envoy’s claim, but he did not come back with relevant documents.
The police tried to contact the ambassador of Myanmar, but he remained unapproachable.
Meanwhile, staff of Syrian embassy, including a diplomat, along with five documents, approached the Shalimar police station, claiming ownership of liquor.
A letter issued by the Syrian embassy on October 28 stated that the container of Syrian embassy containing ‘hard drinks’ was being offloaded at the residence of the ambassador of Myanmar in F-11/4 due to some unavoidable circumstances.
A letter addressed to the secretary Islamabad Transport Authority on October 27 stated that a truck (TKA-048), driven by Mumtaz Akhtar Khan, carrying a container (CRSU1116476) with embassy goods may be allowed to enter capital.
The documents submitted by the Syrian embassy attached a list of the liquor – Wine Bordeaux, Assorted Wine Bordeaux, Beer Clasberg, Champagne, and Liquor Tequila. According to the list, the consignment comprised 990 bottles and 40 cases of beer.
However, during examination of the seized consignment, 2,190 bottles of Glenfiddich, Blue Label, Old Parr, Black Label, Chivas, Ballantine’s, Famous Grouse, Absolut Vodka and Red Label were found.
A letter being drafted in the office of senior superintendent of police will be sent to Foreign Office to inform it about involvement of two embassies in illegal trade of liquor in the capital. But a senior officer said the police were under pressure from different corridors to release the consignment.