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#Pants: PIA steward jailed for trying to smuggle fake passports in underwear

A Pakistan International Airlines flight steward has been jailed after trying to smuggle in fake passports into Britain.

Shaukat Ali Cheema, 59, was arrested at Birmingham airport in March after more than 26 passports and 37 passport bio-data pages were found inside his underwear. 

Border force staff also found 13 driving licences which Cheema had concealed in pockets and compartments sewn into the garment.

In a statement issued after Cheema was sentenced at Birmingham crown court, the National Crime Agency said he had worked for Pakistan’s national carrier for 40 years.

Dawn Cartwright, of the NCA’s border policing command, said: “The passports and driving licences that Cheema attempted to smuggle in his pants were intended for people across Europe and beyond.

“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 pleaded guilty to possessing false identity documents with improper intention.

It is thought the counterfeit documents were intended for use in Italy, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Pakistan.

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