The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Monday caught 28 people attempting to travel to Libya on fake Protectorate of Emigrants stamps, The Express Tribune has learnt.
FIA Immigration officials deployed at the Allama Iqbal International Airport had previously received information that there would be an attempt to traffic as many as 90 people to Libya on fake travelling documents. They checked the immigration stamps of the 28 passengers, requested Protectorate of Emigrants officials to verify them, and discovered that they had been forged. The passengers were bound for Libya via Abu Dhabi on Ittehad Airlines flight EY-242.
FIA Immigration Assistant Director Samiullah and Inspector Riaz then referred the 28 people to the FIA Anti-Human Trafficking Circle (AHTC) police station for the registration of a case against these 28 passengers and their agents.
The passengers told the FIA that they had paid their agents between Rs150,000 and Rs350,000 to obtain work visas in Libya.
FIA Immigration Deputy Director Naveed Atif said they had been tipped about an attempt to smuggle people to Libya and had beefed security and vigilance to foil it. All airlines had been served a notice not to allow the passengers to board the plane without verifying their stamps from the Protectorate of Emigrants, he said.
While 28 passengers had been arrested, he said, they would keep a look out for the rest of the 90 passengers.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2013.