FIA Offloads 16 Alleged Beggars From Saudi-Bound Flight


The group, comprising 11 women, four men, and a child, had initially been travelling on Umrah visas….reports Asian Lite News

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has intercepted and offloaded 16 alleged ‘beggars’ disguised as Umrah pilgrims, from a flight bound for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at Multan airport, Dawn reported.

The group, comprising 11 women, four men, and a child, had initially been travelling on Umrah visas.

During the immigration process, FIA officials questioned the passengers, who confessed to their true intent of travelling to Saudi Arabia for the purpose of begging, as reported by Dawn.

They further revealed that they were obligated to share half of their begging earnings with the agents responsible for arranging their travel.

Upon this discovery, the FIA Multan Circle detained the passengers for further investigation and legal action.

These arrests followed revelations made by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development to the Senate Committee on Overseas Pakistanis, where it was disclosed that a significant number of beggars are trafficked abroad through illegal means.

The ministry’s secretary informed the Senate panel that a staggering 90 per cent of beggars detained in foreign countries are of Pakistani origin, causing overcrowding in jails as reported by both the Iraqi and Saudi ambassadors, Dawn reported.

The Senate Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis was informed that a large number of beggars from Pakistan were moving abroad, which has further spurred “human trafficking”. 

Overseas Ministry Secretary Zulfikar Haider disclosed this during a discussion in the Senate panel on the issue of skilled and unskilled labour leaving the country.

Haider told the committee that a staggering “90 per cent of beggars” arrested in foreign countries were of Pakistani origin, Dawn reported.

He further said that many beggars exploited pilgrim visas to travel to Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq.

Adding to this, he noted that a significant number of pickpockets were arrested at holy sites and were identified to be Pakistani nationals.

Meanwhile, Haider said that Japan has now emerged as a new destination of such visitors, according to Dawn.

Moreover, he emphasized Pakistan’s historical role in exporting skilled labour and expressed optimism that the country’s foreign remittances would increase when professionals went abroad.

He further said that Saudi Arabia now preferred skilled labour over untrained individuals, according to Dawn.

Hasan also noted that as many as 50,000 engineers in Pakistan were unemployed.

“India has reached the moon, while we stumble every day,” the senator added.

He also informed that that approximately three million people were in Saudi Arabia, 1.5 million Pakistanis were in the UAE, while 0.2 million were in Qatar. (ANI)

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