On Sunday, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) intercepted and prevented the travel of nine individuals suspected of posing as Umrah pilgrims while actually intending to beg in Saudi Arabia.
The arrests took place at Multan International Airport, where FIA Immigration officials detained six women and two men attempting to board a flight bound for Saudi Arabia. Their arrest was prompted by the failure to disclose any hotel bookings for their stay in Saudi Arabia.
The detained individuals have been transferred to the FIA’s anti-human trafficking cell for further investigation. The FIA spokesperson emphasized the ongoing vigilant monitoring of passengers to dismantle begging gangs operating through deceptive means.
This incident follows a previous case where the FIA offloaded 24 alleged beggars disguised as Umrah pilgrims from a Saudi Arabia-bound flight at Multan airport. During immigration procedures, these individuals confessed to intending to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the purpose of seeking alms.
These arrests align with revelations from the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development to the Senate Committee on Overseas Pakistanis, highlighting that a considerable number of beggars are trafficked abroad through illegal channels.
The authorities remain committed to addressing such issues and curbing the illicit activities associated with human trafficking and begging.