On Saturday (April 24), the South Korean police identified two Pakistani diplomats who stole items worth $11.70 from a store in Itaewon in Yongsan District of Seoul, reported The Korea Times.
One of the diplomats stole a hat worth $10 (11000 South Korean won) while another diplomat shoplifted chocolate treats worth $1.70 (1900 South Korean won). It must be mentioned that both were caught stealing from the same shop on different dates. While the hat was stolen on February 23, the chocolate treats were stolen on January 10. After the hat was stolen, one of the store employees filed a complaint with the Yongsan police. An investigation into the matter was launched by the law enforcement authorities.
On analysing the CCTV footage, the cops identified the ‘hat thief’ as a 35-year-old Pakistani diplomat. However, the case against him was closed because of the immunity enjoyed by diplomats in host countries under the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations. Moreover, the Yongsan police stated that the store owner did not want to further proceed in the case as the accused’s colleague had made the payment on his behalf. Despite the diplomatic immunity enjoyed by the other shoplifter, he is still under investigation for stealing $1.70 worth of chocolate treats.
Pakistani diplomats abroad continue to embarrass Islamabad
This is not the first time when diplomats of Pakistan have embarrassed their country by being accused of such crimes. In 2018, a Pakistani diplomat was caught stealing the wallet of his Kuwaiti counterpart. Due to the worsening image of the Pakistani diplomats, the United States government had imposed travel restrictions banning their movement beyond a 25-miles radius around Washington DC without approval between May 2018 and May 2019.
Even Pakistan’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Munir Akram has also been accused of domestic violence by his live-in partner. He was excused due to diplomatic immunity. In another incident, an Assistant Visa officer at Pakistan high commission, Bangladesh, Mohamed Mazhar Khan was arrested after his role in a syndicate was busted. The syndicate used to smuggle Fake Indian Currency Notes through Assam and West Bengal border.
During the investigation, the documents recovered from his possession exposed his links with members of terrorist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir. In a similar incident, another Pakistan diplomat Farina Arshad who was Second Secretary at the Pakistan High Commission in Bangladesh was charged after a militant of jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB) Idris Sheikh admitted her links with the militant organization.