LAHORE - Seeking report from the Aviation Division, the interior ministry has termed the illegal handling of Indian transit passengers at Allama Iqbal International Airport a security risk for the country and airline as well, said well placed sources in the airlines on Saturday.
It merits mentioning here that several Indian transit passengers were accommodated at certain hotels by office-bearers of Air League of PIA employees CBA a month back.
Sources claimed that a letter in this effect was written by the Ministry of Interior to Aviation Division wherein a report had been sought from the division.
The letter says, “It has been brought into the notice of this ministry that on 29th of October and November 1st, 2014 PIA staff at Lahore airport accommodated transit Indian passengers in Hotel Sprout Court, Heaven Hotel, and Hotel Continental Inn without intimation to concerned authorities as well as immigration escort.”
Hotel Sprout Court is being run under the management of Air League PIA Employees Union and owned by the husband of female PIA employees posted at Management Information System branch at AIIAP, the letter added.
The letter further says that due to backing of President Air League and his brother this hotel gets a major share of earning from transit passengers. Moreover, PIA transit passenger’s assistance staff is also involved in filing fake hotel vouchers for those passengers not even availing hotel facility. Involvement of PIA transit passengers’ assistance staff and PIA employees union in above mentioned anomalies to provide monitoring benefits to own people is a great security risk. If any passenger willfully manages to disappear during the process due to negligence, it may create an embarrassing situation for the country and the airline as well.
Aviation Division is requested to investigate the matter and send the copy to Ministry of Interior at earliest, letter says further.
After receiving letter Aviation Division forwarded a letter to MD PIA to investigate the matter and report urgently. It is worth mentioning here that issue of fake hotel vouchers was already under investigation but the investigation conducted by the Lahore office was poor.
The scam was unearthed during annual audit and a fraud of Rs.2.8 million was revealed in which Yasir Aslam was involved. During investigation, he not only confessed to the crime but also returned Rs. 1 million to the corporation and Rs 1.8 million was yet to be recovered. Regarding mishandling of Indian transit passengers, an inquiry was assigned to manager legal Mian Nasir but due to union pressure he was unable to conduct a fair inquiry.