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Customs official kidnapped during shootout freed

Customs official kidnapped during shootout freed

RAWALPINDI: Customs officer kidnapped during the shootout in Rawalpindi has been released. Collector Customs Imtiaz Ahmed has said, “The kidnappers had no other option but to release the officer as raids had been started to arrest them.”

Deputy Superintendent Customs Chaudhry Iftikharul Haq along with his two subordinates was shifting a container of smuggled goods after its seizure on the motorway to a warehouse in Islamabad. The suspected smugglers started shooting at them. During the shootout the three of them were kidnapped. Shortly his subordinates were freed. However, he could not be rescued.

According to the customs department, the 40-foot-long container of smuggled items was heading towards Lahore from Peshawar when it was intercepted at Kalar Kahar. Later, the kidnappers telephoned the customs authorities and put their demands for the release of their man.

“First, the kidnappers threatened to kill the customs officer if their goods were not released but later they demanded that half of their goods should be released,” said Mohammad Asif Hargan, the deputy collector customs.

He said it was up to the Rawalpindi and Peshawar police to arrest the suspected smugglers. However, three accomplices of the smugglers arrested by the customs department have been sent to jail.

Meanwhile, the police have started an investigation into the kidnapping case. According to the police, the accused belonged to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Quoting the statement of the customs officer, the police said that he was blindfolded and later freed after reaching Peshawar.