PK Flight Attendant With Passport-Stuffed Underpants Jailed

Open Jaw

A veteran flight attendant for Pakistan International Airlines has been sentenced to 5 years in prison after being caught with 26 counterfeit passports and other identity documents concealed in his customized underpants.

British border control police stopped PK senior steward Shaukat Ali Cheema, 59, at BHX. Agents had questions about certain unusual bulges in his skivvies.

An investigation and underwear search revealed that Cheema was carrying more than 70 counterfeit documents, in various names, concealed in compartments sewn into the garment, the Guardian reported.

While the 26 passports and 37 passport biodata pages appeared at first glance to be genuine, all were found to be fakes.U.K. border staff also found 13 drivers’ licences in his underwear. And as eGlobal Travel Media cheekily puts it: “The underpants were taken down in evidence.”

After Cheema was sentenced in Birmingham crown court to 5 years in jail, Britain’s National Crime Agency issued a statement outlining the severity of the offence, to establish that the crime was far bigger than the briefs. “The passports and driving licences that Cheema attempted to smuggle in his pants were intended for people across Europe and beyond,” Dawn Cartwright, of the NCA’s border policing command, declared. “Fake documents are a serious concern for law enforcement. Those driving licences could have ended up in the hands of people who weren’t qualified, or safe, to drive. And more generally, fake and fraudulently obtained documents help criminals to avoid law enforcement detection and carry on in their criminality.”

Cheema, a Pakistani who had worked for the airline for 40 years, pleaded guilty to possessing false identity documents with improper intention.

The seizure is believed to be the biggest passports-in-underpants haul ever made.

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