Senate Body Calls For Measures Against Money Laundering and Smuggling

The Senate Standing Committee on Aviation on Thursday directed the law enforcement agencies especially Airport Security Force, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and Customs officials to ensure fool security measures against money laundering.

The Committee said that money laundering, smuggling and other illegal activities are badly affecting the country’s image abroad.

The Committee met here with Senator Mushahidullah in the chair. It asked the law enforcement agencies to forward their proposals, demands, and list of modern equipment they require for security purposes.

The Committee was told about the standard operating procedures and new steps being taken to ensure that no one from within the airport facilitates smuggling and money laundering.

Secretary Civil Aviation Division Saqib Wazir told the committee that just a few days ago the prime minister gave instructions to security agencies to take appropriate measures to stop money laundering and smuggling.

Members of the committee asked Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to conduct a co-opt investigation with PIA regarding the collapse of bridge/jetty 5 at New Islamabad International Airport. The Committee asked the CAA and PIA to undertake this investigation in addition to the Board of Inquiry, which would be completing its inquiry into the incident by December 7, 2018.

The Committee expressed concerns over the incident and called for a thorough inquiry as well as a proper mechanism for regular maintenance and checking of all the jetties at the country’s airports.

The Committee was told that the board of inquiry was considering all aspects including probability of design faults, human error, maintenance issues and communication in its inquiry.

Senators called for a check whether there was a warranty protection clause in the agreement with the company from whom the jetties were bought.

The Committee was told that after the incident on 9th October all the jetties at airports across the countries were inspected.

The Committee also discussed issues faced by passengers due to the switching of PIA system from SABRE to HIT IT. The PIA Chairman told the Committee that the switchover was done due to the poor terms of the previous agreement due to which PIA was paying huge money to the US Company for its services.

He said that the new software provided better facilities for administration and passengers and would show better results within the next few months. The Committee sought a comparative report after three months from the airlines about the passengers’ complaints regarding the system.

Senators Nauman Wazir Khattak, Maula Bakhsh Chandio, Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, Secretary Aviation, Chairman PIA, DG CAA, Chief Metrologist and other officials from PIA attended the meeting.