Karachi: 5,602 stolen passports seized, five arrested
KARACHI: Police on Friday seized 5,602 stolen passports and arrested five suspects involved in the theft. The passports had been stolen from the office of the Travel Agents Association of Pakistan, situated near Metropole, on June 6.
The officials said that that the passports had been sent to the office by 11 travel agencies for submission to the consulate of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Following the theft, a case (FIR 92/2011) under Sections 380 (theft) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code was registered at the Artillery Maidan police station.
The case was assigned initially to the Special Investigation Unit of police, but it was transferred to the investigation police of the east zone after some office-bearers of the travel agents association met the interior minister and expressed dissatisfaction over the investigation.
SSP Investigation Niaz Khosa said that they sought details of the former employees of the association and their cellphone record.
The police also interviewed them and shortlisted the suspects, he said, adding that the police picked up one of them, Salman, whose cellphone was found operative on the night of the theft in the Metropole area.
During interrogation, the suspect confessed to have committed the robbery and disclosed the names of his four accomplices. The suspect also disclosed the location of the passports, which had been kept at his brother’s house in Gulistan-i-Jauhar.
SSP Khosa quoted the suspect Salman as saying that during his visit to Iran, he met a man who after learning of his profession offered him a huge amount of money if he delivered passports to him. The SSP said that the suspect demanded Rs80 million for the delivery of passports in Quetta and after negotiation, a deal was struck at Rs18.5 million. Subsequently, the SSP said, the suspect gathered some friends, also in the travel agency business, and carried out the theft.