Customs cop killed as high speed chase ends in crash
LAHORE: A Customs constable and a suspected smuggler were killed when a high-speed chase ended in a crash and a Customs car and a bus skid off the road near Saggiyan Bridge in Shahdara police jurisdiction on Wednesday morning.
Two other Customs officials were seriously injured.
Customs Anti Smuggling Staff set up a picket after receiving a tip off that a bus carrying smuggled goods including silk cloth and spare parts would arrive in Lahore on Wednesday morning.
Customs officials signalled the bus to stop as it got off the Motorway at Babu Sabu. The bus had only five men on board apart from the driver. However, the bus driver sped away towards Saggiyan Bridge and the Customs team chased it in their jeep. The two sides shot at each other as well.
Meanwhile, Shahdara police set up barriers across the road ahead to stop the bus, but it crashed through and police joined the jeep in the chase. The jeep sped ahead of the bus and opened fire, killing the driver, Anwar Shah.
The bus spun out of control and ran over the Customs vehicle and both fell into a depression along the side of the road ahead of Sagiyan Bridge. Customs Constable Javed Shahid was killed while Saeed Ansari, the driver, and Constable Mumtaz Watto were badly injured.
The Shadhra police team managed to arrest one of the smugglers, Jaffar Khan. Four men carrying bags escaped after a shootout with police.
Shuja Haider Kazmi, the superintendent of Customs Anti Smuggling Staff, said the four men who escaped included the brother of the bus driver Anwar Shah. He said the bags they were carrying might have contained explosives or narcotics, because it was unusual for smugglers of cloth to evade police pickets and get into a shootout.
Mr Kazmi said the bus was carrying smuggled goods worth around one million rupees.
The chairman of the Central Board of Revenue announced compensation of Rs 500,000 for the family of Constable Javed Shahid and Rs 50,000 each for the injured Customs officials. The Customs collector announced that the department would pay for the schooling of Constable Shahid’s children.