40 pilots named in three cases
The Federal Investigation Agency has arrested five officers of the Pakistan Aviation Authority for issuing fake licenses to 40 pilots in Sindh.
Three cases have been registered against 49 people, including 40 pilots and eight officials of the CAA.
According to FIA Director Munir Sheikh, a written complaint was sent to the agency on fake Commercial Pilot and Air Transport Pilot licenses being issued.
The pilots were appointed on the basis of “fake pilot license exams” which were conducted on holidays, weekends, or after office hours, the complaint said.
The pilots and officers have been charged under Section 5(2) (criminal conduct) of the Prevention Of Corruption Act, 1947 and the following sections of the Pakistan Penal Code.
At a hearing in December, the federal government told the Islamabad High Court that of the 262 Pakistani pilots suspected of having dubious licenses, 172 have been cleared after their credentials were verified.
The licenses of 50 pilots had been cancelled and their cases sent to the FIA for criminal proceedings.
Pakistan International Airlines came under heavy scrutiny last year after one of its planes came down in a Karachi neighbourhood, killing 98 people.
A furor later erupted after it emerged that dozens of pilots may have been holding fake or dubious licenses, leading the US and EU to temporarily bar the airline from its airspace.