FIR registered, suspects being questioned
The Federal Investigation Agency arrested seven men at the Sialkot International Airport on Thursday for travelling to Turkey on fake visas.
According to the suspects, they bought the visas worth millions of rupees from an agent, identified as Qasim, who hails from Jhelum. The FIA has arrested him as well.
Qasim has been moved to the human smuggling cell for interrogation.
“The suspects’ fake documents have been seized and an FIR has been registered,” the agency’s spokesperson said. “Every year, these agents sent thousands of people abroad on fake documents.”
He added that the FIA is conducting raids to arrest other men involved.
In a report last year, FIA’s Anti-Human Trafficking Unit revealed that they received over 10,000 complaints of human smuggling from across the country. The highest number of cases was reported in Punjab.
The report stated that human trafficking webs in the country usually target young men and women by promising to send them abroad for relatively less money. They are usually sent to Europe or the Middle East.
In June 2020, the Trafficking in Persons Report by the US State Department downgraded Pakistan from Tier 2 to the Tier 2 watch list. The report pointed out that conviction rates in the country remain low compared to the magnitude of the problem.