FIA launches crackdown against illegal immigration agencies in Karachi

Illegal Immigration by Nick Youngson Alpha Stock Images

After the recent Greece migrant boat tragedy, in which hundreds of Pakistanis perished, a crackdown has been going on in different parts of the country against human traffickers. Finally, the Federal Investigation department (FIA) has also launched a crackdown in Karachi and arrested four suspects in raids.

On Saturday, in a successful raid led by Inspector Babar Ali in connection with a case registered at the FIA’s Anti Human Trafficking Circle, Karachi, an alleged notorious human smuggler. Tahir Mehmood, was arrested in Agra Taj Colony of Lyari.

The FIR had been registered after officials heard detailed accounts of two deportees wherein they identified three human traffickers who facilitated them in their illegal migration. Among the three, Mehmood allegedly played the primary role. It bears emphasizing that this FIR and the subsequent raid and arrest of the high-profile human smuggler is another successful action undertaken by the FIA in the ongoing nationwide crackdown against human smugglers and traffickers in the wake of the gruesome Greece boat tragedy, said an FIA official. The official said that on the directions of the Karachi Zone FIA director, a crackdown had been started under the supervision of Bahawal Usto, deputy director of the Anti-Human Trafficking Circle (AHTC).

In this regard, an AHTC team consisting of a station house officer conducted a raid on a private hotel near Karachi Cantonment Station. Resultantly, an unauthorised overseas employment promoter, namely Ghulam Abbas Baloch, was arrested.

The suspect had extorted different amounts from citizens for the purpose of providing work visas. He was in alleged illegal possession of Pakistani passports in different names. AN FIR under sections of the Emigration Ordinance and Passport Act has been registered, and further investigations are underway.

According to officials and observers, numerous offices in the name of immigration consultants are working in different parts of Karachi. They say that almost every month a batch of deportees arrives at the Karachi airport or at the Karachi Harbour from European and Middle Eastern countries or sometimes from the United States.

They suggest that the government should lead a crackdown on illegal immigration consultants all over the country and should also check what qualifications immigration consultants have and which government has given them permission to work.

Officials say a network of human traffickers is operating in different parts of the country, especially in Punjab, and also in some areas of Karachi where they use charge millions of rupees on the pretext of providing good jobs abroad. Moreover, they say, unlicensed and unregistered immigrant consultant offices are also operating and they should be checked and sealed immediately to protect the public from another major tragedy in future.

There is an economic crisis in the country due to which inflation is increasing day by day for the poor and middle classes. It is not possible for people to meet the expenses of their homes, so young people are moving to other countries.

Published at The News on 27th June 2023

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