LAHORE - The Pakistan International Airlines terminated one of its employees and handed over more than 12 others to investigation agency after they were found involved in gold and narcotics smuggling.

Spokesman for the airlines said that PIA terminated the services of Nuzhat Bukhari, Senior Purser, who was found involved in attempted gold smuggling through PIA 's New York bound flight PK-721 at Lahore airport couple of days ago.

The national flag carrier has also started departmental inquiry to know the more hands behind increasing incidents of narcotics smuggling in airlines planes.

Apart from narcotics smuggling by drug peddlers, narcotics was recovered concealed in parts of plane and sometimes it was found lying unattended on seats and lavatory of the planes in last two months. On which the investigators believed that airline staff was involved in such mysterious cases.

Most of the incidents were reported at Allama Iqbal International Airport (AIIAP) when Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) arrested about 12 PIA officials allegedly involved in narcotics smuggling.

Among the arrested staff included PIA engineers, technicians, cleaners and others who were being interrogated.

An ANF officer said that they foiled a bid to smuggle six kilogram heroin worth millions of rupees at Lahore airport few days ago. He said narcotics were recovered from toilet of the plane scheduled to fly for Dubai.

Passenger Atif Feroz was travelling by the PIA flight Pk-203 but he was not carrying said narcotics.

Sources said that ANF personnel along with Airport Security Force (ASF) and PIA security officials during a search of Dubai bound PIA flight PK 203 recovered six kilogram heroin.  On May 25, 2016 Customs officials in Karachi recovered over 27kg heroin from a PIA aircraft during an intelligence-based raid.

Officials conducted the raid at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport, and seized nine packets of heroin from the lavatory of a Europe-bound aircraft parked in the hangar. “It is an unfortunate incident and the airline’s management is extending full cooperation to investigating agencies in addition to conducting its own inquiry,” a PIA spokesperson said in a statement.

The last few years have seen a rise in number of cases where PIA staffers have been found smuggling items, including drugs, cigarettes, mobile phones, illegal passports. Others were allegedly caught laundering money, both at airports in Pakistan and abroad.

Following the cases, PIA management began a crackdown on air crews and terminated contracts of the employees involved.

However, no concrete effort has been seen to figure out what has led to increase in the number of such incidents.

Couple of days ago two incidents were reported at AIIAP when Customs officials recovered 2kg gold from a PIA female purser trying to smuggle it. In other case, ANF recovered 1.5kg heroin from a passenger trying to smuggle to Jeddah.

Both accused were arrested and cases registered against them.