Drug trafficker sentenced to 10 years in prison in Karachi
KARACHI: An anti-narcotics court sentenced a drug trafficker to 10 years imprisonment on Wednesday. The court found Azhar Iqbal guilty of attempting to smuggle 1,200 grams of heroin powder out of the country in Feb 2010.
The judge of the special court-II for control of narcotic substances, Sanaullah Khan Ghoury, pronounced the verdict after recording the evidence provided by the witnesses and hearing the final arguments from both sides.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs200,000 on the convict and said that in case of non-payment the convict would have to undergo an additional two-year imprisonment.
The court observed that the evidence available supported the case of the prosecution and all the witnesses had corroborated the versions of each other on substantive points, adding that although the witnesses had been subjected to lengthy cross-examination their evidence remained unshaken.
The discrepancies highlighted by the defence counsel were minor and of no importance, the court ruled.
Rejecting another contention of the defence that the court had not associated private witnesses, the court observed that admittedly the accused was arrested at the international departure hall of the Karachi airport which was a restricted area and nobody except passengers were allowed to enter the vicinity. There was no dispute that the accused intended to go abroad and his traveling documents were seized from him on the spot, it added.
The court further noted that the drug samples seized from the accused had been immediately sent for chemical analysis and the subsequent report confirmed that the substance was heroin.
It concluded that the prosecution had proved its case against the accused beyond a shadow of doubt by placing solid evidence before the court.
According to the prosecution, the drug enforcement cell of Customs intercepted the accused at the international departure lounge of the Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, as he was about to take a flight to Abu Dhabi on the night of Feb 12, 2010.
After a thorough examination of his luggage, the Customs officials seized 100 heroin-filled capsules, which had been concealed in the back-cover of his suitcase.
During interrogation, the accused disclosed that a man, Noman Ali, had provided the heroin capsules to the accused and also financed the transportation, the prosecution added.
A case (FIR No.06/11) was registered against Azhar Iqbal under Section 9-C of the CNS Act, 1997 at the Customs police station.
The accused appeared in the court while he was still on bail. After pronouncement of the judgment, he was taken into custody and remanded to prison along with the conviction warrant to serve out the sentence.
The court has also issued a life warrant for the absconding accused, Noman Ali, and is keeping his case in a dormant file till his arrest.