The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) successfully apprehended nine alleged beggars at Multan International Airport, who were attempting to travel to Saudi Arabia under the guise of Umrah pilgrims.
The group, consisting of six women and three men, failed to provide evidence of hotel reservations or any other legitimate purpose for their visit to Saudi Arabia.
Upon further investigation, the detainees admitted their intention to engage in begging activities during their stay in Saudi Arabia.
They were subsequently taken into custody by the FIA's anti-human trafficking unit for further investigation.
This operation marks the latest in a series of efforts by the FIA to combat begging rings that exploit individuals seeking to perform Umrah, the lesser pilgrimage to Mecca.
Earlier, FIA officials intercepted 24 suspected beggars attempting to travel to Saudi Arabia under the pretence of religious pilgrimage.
These arrests highlight the growing concern over the trafficking of individuals for begging purposes, often under the guise of religious travel.
The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development previously raised this issue to the Senate Committee on Overseas Pakistanis.