NCA praised as PC Sharon Beshenivsky murder suspect detained
The ringleader of a gang of armed robbers who fled the country after they murdered a West Yorkshire Police officer in 2005 has been arrested in Pakistan.
Piran Ditta Khan, 71, has appeared at court in Islamabad where he faced a request for extradition to the UK over the murder of Police Constable Sharon Beshenivsky.
Thirty-eight-year-old PC Beshenivsky was shot dead as she responded to reports of a robbery at a travel agency in Bradford on November 18, 2005. She was only the second female police officer to be fatally shot and had only nine months’ service. She was killed on her daughter’s fourth birthday.
Her colleague, Police Constable Teresa Milburn, was also seriously injured.
Six men were convicted of murder, manslaughter, robbery and firearms offences, but Khan is understood to have fled to Pakistan after the shooting.
Detective Superintendent Mark Swift said: “I would like to thank the National Crime Agency (NCA) officers in Pakistan and partners who have made this arrest possible.
“This is a major development in this long-running investigation and their assistance in this matter cannot be understated.
“We are continuing to liaise with partners in Pakistan to process Khan’s extradition with the intention of returning him to the UK to face court proceedings.”
Brian Booth, chair of West Yorkshire Police Federation, said: “The persistence to capture and bring to justice all those involved in the murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky has to be applauded. I know my colleagues within West Yorkshire are delighted to hear about the arrest of Piran Dhitta Khan – and will now be watching closely the wheels of justice turning in this case and how this plays out.
“The murder of Sharon and the attempted murder of her colleague PC Teresa Milburn sent a shockwave not only through West Yorkshire but throughout the world. We still mourn the loss of Sharon and I wish to pass on my thanks, on behalf of my West Yorkshire colleagues, to the NCA in Pakistan for making this arrest possible.”
Khan was remanded in custody to next appear at court on January 29.