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FIA makes progress in probe against Shaheen Air

KARACHI: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Monday claimed to have made progress in a probe against Shaheen Air for causing losses worth Rs 1.4 billion to the national exchequer, ARY NEWS reported.

The probe is being carried out by the corporate crime circle of the agency on the request of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The airline has not transferred charges in terms of the flight operations to the CAA since March 2018. “They caused a loss of Rs 1.4 billion to the national exchequer,” said the FIA as sources claimed that evidence regarding involvement of the airline in money laundering activity has also emerged during the probe.

The FIA has also arrested Yawar Mahmood of the airline while cases have also been registered against nine directors of the Shaheen Air.

It is pertinent to mention here that Shaheen Airways had suspended its operations from October 2018, and the private airliner was a defaulter of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), CAA, and Pakistan Customs.

According to ARY News correspondent, Shaheen Airways has to pay Rs1.4 billion to FBR and CAA respectively. Shaheen Airways has total of 25 planes in its fleet out of which 12 are grounded at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi.

The employees of the private airline wrote a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan in February 2019, seeking measures on a war-footing basis to revive the airline and address financial issues faced by its workers.

“Our flight operations have been suspended by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the CAA also sealed our head office, due to non-payment of dues. FBR has also sealed our main accounts due to non-payment of taxes by the carrier,” said a letter addressed to the premier.

The letter said the owner of the airline had also left Pakistan after suspension of flight operations. It said the names of owners were also placed on the Exit Control List, leaving around 5,000 workers without salaries and in a state of joblessness.

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