FIA offloads nine beggars from Saudi-bound flight

FIA oafloads beggars

MULTAN: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) offloaded nine passengers who were planning to beg in Saudi Arabia under the pretext of performing Umrah.

The passengers were offloaded from flight number PA-870 at Multan airport on Sunday.

According to an FIA spokesperson, the passengers included six women and two men, who were accompanied by a female agent.

“The passengers did not have any hotel booking or valid documents to prove their purpose of travel,” the spokesperson said adding that the passengers were handed over to the Anti-Human Trafficking Circle Multan for further investigation and legal action.

The FIA said that it was conducting strict screening of passengers at all airports.

“The passports of the passengers involved in begging would be blacklisted, the spokesperson added.

Begging in foreign countries is a common practice among some Pakistani nationals, who exploit the religious sentiments and generosity of the people in the host countries.

90% of beggars arrested abroad are Pakistani, Senate panel told

According to reports, around 90 per cent of beggars arrested in foreign countries were from Pakistan.

The most preferred destinations for begging are Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey, where Pakistani beggars pose as pilgrims, refugees, or poor people.

Begging in foreign countries is not only illegal, but also tarnishes the image of Pakistan and its citizens.

The government of Pakistan has been taking measures to curb this menace, such as issuing travel advisories, creating awareness campaigns, and cracking down on human trafficking networks.

However, the problem persists due to the lack of effective implementation and coordination among the relevant authorities.

Earlier, the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development disclosed to the Senate Committee on Overseas Pakistanis that a significant proportion of beggars are trafficked abroad through illicit channels.

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