Karachi: Hashish smuggler held by US Marines jailed for life
KARACHI: A hashish smuggler held by American Marines along with his five accomplices on a boat in international waters seven years ago was sentenced by a drug court to life imprisonment on Wednesday.
The court found Shah Jahan alias Shahzan guilty of smuggling over 2,200 kilos of hashish in March 2004.
The accused and his five accomplices were apprehended by an American warship in international waters around 50 nautical miles northeast of Pasni. The contraband narcotic was also seized.
The judge of the special court-II for control of narcotic substances, Sanaullah Khan Ghoury pronounced the judgment and also imposed a fine of one million rupees. In case of non-payment, the convict would have to undergo an additional five-year imprisonment.
The court in its verdict observed that the testimonies of witnesses about the arrest of the accused and the recovery of hashish were trustworthy and fully in consonance with each other and no enmity, material contradiction, discrepancies and improvement had been noticed in their evidence.
The defendant failed to bring any material on record to show that prosecution witnesses had any enmity or grudge to implicate him in the case and in the absence of any reason the evidence of witnesses could not be discarded merely on the ground that they were policemen, it added.
The court stated that prosecution witnesses deposed without leaving any lacuna while the defence counsel failed to create reasonable doubts during the cross-examination.
“The prosecution on the strength of evidence which is in consistence reliable and convincing on all material particulars and supported by the chemical analysis report showing the recovered stuff from the accused as Charras has been able to bring home the charge against the accused,” the verdict concluded.
According to the prosecution, the American warship held Shah Jahan alias Shahzan, Qadir Bux, son of Imtian, Qadir Bux, son of Phullan, Faqir Mohammad, Abdul Ghani and Lal Bux in the Arabian Sea international waters and seized 1,216 kilos of hashish and on March 30, 2004 the accused men and recovered drugs were handed over to the anti-narcotics force of Pakistan by the American marines.
All the accused men except Shah Jahan were released on bail in 2009. However, they jumped bail and their case was separated from his case.
A case (FIR 05/2004) was registered against the six men under Section 9-C of the CNS Act, 1997 at the ANF police station in Clifton. A charge-sheet filed in court against the accused also showed the ship owner, Abdul Majeed, and one Waheed Murad as absconding accused for allegedly helping the accused in transportation of drugs.
The court also ruled that the convict was entitled to the benefit of period he spent as an undertrial prisoner as provided under Section 382-B of the criminal procedure code.
The jail authorities produced him before the court in custody on Wednesday. After the pronouncement of the order, the judge remanded him back to prison along with the conviction warrant to serve out the remainder of his sentence.