Jeddah heroin case
Charges framed against accused
KARACHI: The Additional District and Sessions Judge East, Munawwar Sultana framed charges against the three accused in the Jeddah heroin smuggling case.
The accused, Syed Sarwat Hussain, Shafia Hussain and Faraz Hussain, denied the charges and pleaded innocent, after which the bench ordered the prosecution to produce its witness. The court fixed November 2 as the date for the commencement of the trial.
The accused were charged for smuggling heroin powder and for bringing disgrace to the country. They were arrested by the Karachi police after eleven Umra pilgrims, including three each from two families, were arrested at the Jeddah International Airport by Saudi Custom and Drug Enforcement authorities. The searching of the pilgrims lead to the recovery of heroin powder from the footwear (chappals) of the accused, who were then booked on charges of smuggling heroin powder.
Abdul Jabbar Tunio and Ibrahim Chandio of an NGO are absconding in the case and are stated to be the masterminds of the smuggling racket, exploiting innocent Umra pilgrims. In a related development, Judicial Magistrate East, Inam Ali Kalhoro recorded the statement on Saturday of Anees Mossani and Arif Chauhan under section 164 Cr PC.
The two prosecution witnesses stated how they were given the Ahram and footwear laden with heroin powder. They stated that chappals were said to be the identification mark of the group and thus they were forced to use the same. They said that as per instructions of the accused/Umra tour operators, they were supposed to handover the chappals to their agent as soon as they reached outside the Jeddah airport.
The prosecution witnesses also identified the accused present in the court in custody.
The two prosecution witnesses, who remained in the custody of Saudi authorities, returned to Pakistan after their innocence was proven and accepted. The smuggling of narcotics carries a death penalty in the holy land.