Tuesday March 05, 2024

Customs arrests man, seizes archaeological artefacts

December 11, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Customs staff, on an intelligence-based information, recovered antiques, being transported from Quetta to Islamabad, official sources said on Sunday.

The antiques belong to 2600 to 3500 years BC [Before Christ] period, the Customs official, quoting an expert report, claimed. The antiques were being smuggled to Islamabad by bus, added the sources.

A representational image of a handcuffed man. — Pexels/File
A representational image of a handcuffed man. — Pexels/File

The sources said that upon receiving information from the Customs Intelligence Wing, a team was deputed to check private buses coming from Quetta, adding that the team intercepted a tipped off bus at Chungi No. 26 at Peshawar Road near Motorway Chowk, searched baggage of passengers and recovered the antiques from one Abdus Salam, later on identified as an international antiques smuggler. The suspect was shifted to warehouse of the Customs with antiques, where he was arrested after he failed to produce legal documents regarding shifting of the precious antiques.

People engaged in the investigation of the case said the Department of Archaeology had confirmed the authenticity of the antiques, saying that the insurance value of the antiques was Rws5 million.

The suspect confessed that he was linked with the antiques smugglers based in Afghanistan and the consignment was shifted to Islamabad to smuggled out to Afghanistan for heavy profit. The racketeer was arrested under Antiques Smuggling Act (ASA) and his physical remand was obtained for further investigation.