In fear of US downgrade, FIA launches countrywide crackdown against human traffickers

Federal agency's officials hunting for over 300 human traffickers whose passports have already been cancelled

Zahid Gishkori November 18, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Amid fears that Pakistan might be downgraded to Tier 3 on the US' human trafficking watchlist, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday launched a nationwide crackdown against human traffickers.

Pakistan, which is currently on the Tier 2 Watch List, has been urged by several global anti-human trafficking and human rights organisations to control worsening trends of human smuggling in the country.

In its countrywide crackdown campaign, FIA officials are looking for as many as 300 top human traffickers whose passports have already been cancelled.

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Following directives by Interior Minsiter Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, FIA teams arrested several human smugglers and their agents, who allegedly possessed hundreds of illegal passports, in the crackdown initiated at 11am today, an FIA, an official told The Express Tribune.

Director FIA Islamabad Region Inam Ghani raided Al Qebla Travel and Tours, while another FIA team raided a shop at Shah Hussain Chowk Gujrat, recovering five Pakistani passports, he said.

Umar Farooq, the shop owner, who was arrested by the FIA team, was reportedly receiving passports on behalf of Anwar Travels in Wazirabad.

A land route agent, Hafiz Tayyab Rasool, was arrested by FIA Inspector Malik Nasir Majeed from Pasroor, Sialkot in Punjab. The accused is allegedly involved in sending people to Greece.

Meanwhile, FIA Islamabad team also arrested human smuggler Hazrat Ali, who was found possessing three passports, from Saer Char Bagh.

Further, FIA Rawalpindi arrested human smuggler Sarfraz Khan of Shamsabad Rawalpindi during a raid. He was found possessing 30 passports. The team also arrested human smugglers Yasir Iqbal of Ghori Town, Islamabad during a raid who was found possessing 31 passports.

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In yet another raid, the team arrested Iqbal Hussain during a raid at 6th Road, Rawalpindi who was found possessing six passports. A land route agent namely Irfan Kumhar was arrested by FIA team in Gujrat. The accused is reportedly involved in sending people to Greece. The team also raided an Australian migration and education consultant at five star plaza in Gujrat to arrest accused Sohail Mehdi.

In Karachi, FIA team recovered 90 passports from 7 men arrested from Lyari area. Another team of FIA arrested Muhammad Safeer along with 4 passports in Taxila, where the team also arrested Luqman who possessed three passports.

FIRs have been registered against those arrested and further investigations are underway.


Khan | 8 years ago | Reply Why wait for the U.S downgrade? Can't FIA be proactive and actually do their job???
Syed Shere | 8 years ago | Reply These trafickers can not operate without the help of the authorities in Pakistan. If the interior minister wants to redeem the good name of the country, all culprits on the entire rung of human traficking ladder must be summarily tried in the military court as terrorists and sent for a long long time to cool their heels in the pokey.
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