Two policemen in Pakistan were arrested and remanded on Saturday on charges of illegally releasing three suspected smugglers, who were Nigerian citizens, in exchange for a bribe.

The police officials, Defence SHO sub-inspector Muhammad Ali and Defence SIO Waseem Abro were produced before the court after Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) officials arrested them.

Pakistan police

According to AVCC officials, police higher-ups had received a video in which a man claimed that three Nigerian citizens had been kidnapped, locked in a room, and subjected to torture in Karachi. 

After that, the police conducted an operation and recovered the kidnapped Nigerian citizens on November 14, 2020, the officials said.

The foreigners, suspected to be smugglers, were kept in the Defence Police's custody and a case for their abduction was registered as well.

AVCC officials added that they were either sent back to their country with the permission of relevant police officials or handed over to the Nigerian embassy, but none of the steps was followed through. 

Later, a man who identified himself as Dilbar and said he was from Shikarpur, approached the Defence Police, seeking the foreigners' release.

According to AVCC officials, SHO Ali and SIO Abro released the three foreigners in exchange for a bribe, and one of the three Nigerian citizens had fled the country.

Following the foreigners' release, an inquiry committee, headed by Crime Investigation Agency DIG Arif Hanif, was constituted to probe into the matter. The committee included AVCC SSP Abdullah Hamid and South SSP Zubair Nazir as members.

Meanwhile, the police also arrested other suspects who revealed during interrogation that the Defence SHO and Defence SIO had taken a bribe in return for handing over the foreigners to Dilbar.

The committee's inquiry report also concluded that Defence SHO and Defence SIO were involved in illegally handing over the Nigerian citizens to Dilbar and collecting bribes in return, Express Tribune reports.

Later, the accused policemen were produced before an ATC, which sent them on physical remand until March 6 and sought an investigation report on the matter.

At the hearing, the investigation officer told the court that the accused officials had demanded Rs10 million for releasing the suspected smugglers and had been paid more than Rs5 million.

He informed the court that while one of the Nigerian citizens had fled, two others were missing.

The IO further stated that the AVCC had arrested two suspects, Saleem Rind and Jan Muhammad, who had revealed during interrogation about the involvement of SHO Ali and SIO Abro in the suspected smugglers' release.

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