ISLAMABAD: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has registered 7,430 cases of human trafficking and made 7,381 arrests during the last two years under a special anti-human trafficking campaign launched across the country.
A break-up of registered cases against human traffickers showed that during the year 2016, of the total 4,096 cases, 3,349 were registered in Punjab, 140 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 77 in Sindh, 181 in Balochistan and 349 cases in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
Similarly, during 2017, of the total 3,334 registered cases, 2,784 were registered in Punjab, 85 in the KP, 82 in Sindh, 59 in Balochistan and 324 cases in the ICT.
The total number of persons arrested and involved in human trafficking during 2016 was 4,233. Of the total, 3,635 were arrested in Punjab, 138 in the KP, 29 in Sindh, 11 in Balochistan and 420 arrests were made in the ICT.
During 2017, the number of persons arrested and involved in human trafficking was 3,148. Of the total, 2,746 were arrested in Punjab, 69 in the KP, 31 in Sindh, 4 in Balochistan and 298 arrests were made in the ICT.
When contacted regarding action taken against traffickers and agents who were involved in Turbat incident in which 15 persons lost their lives recently, sources at Interior Division on Thursday said a video was uploaded on social media on November 15, regarding the murder of 15 innocent Pakistani nationals in Turbat, Balochistan.
These deceased persons were from different districts of Gujranwala Division in Punjab and were en route to cross Pak-Iran Border illegally with the facilitation of local as well as cross-border human smugglers and agents for their journey to Europe via a land route passing through Iran, Turkey and Greece.
The sources said, later on, the same video was telecast on electronic media.
The FIA immediately took action and initiated legal proceedings against human smugglers/human traffickers/agents involved in this incident.
After three days on November 18, another media report was flashed according to which five more innocent persons were killed in District Kech, Turbot Balochistan by unknown murderers. These five persons were also from Gujranwala Division and they were being smuggled to Europe via Iran, Turkey and Greece.
They were in Balochistan to cross Pak-Iran Border illegally with the facilitation of local as well as cross-border human smugglers. The FIA immediately took action and initiated, legal proceedings against the human smugglers involved in this incident.
The sources said the FIA Gujranwala and Gujrat immediately contacted the parents and relatives of the deceased persons and it was unearthed during preliminary interrogation that these deceased intending emigrants were taken to Quetta on October 31, through bus from Gujrat by local agents.
It was further disclosed by their parents and relatives that these deceased persons were then to be taken to Iran after crossing Pak-Iran border illegally with help of local agents based in Quetta and also the agents in Iran.
The agents in Turkey, Greece, Italy and Germany were also in contact with local agents in Quetta and those in Iran for getting these innocent intending emigrants to Italy and Germany through land route of Iran, Turkey and Greece.
With regards to actions taken by FIA against traffickers and agents who were involved in Turbat incident, the sources said 19 persons have been identified as deceased.
The FIA Gujranwala and Gujrat contacted the deceased families and got information about the agents involved and upon disclosure, 7 FIRs have been registered. Out of them, 17 agents have been identified and 7 arrested.
Two identified agents are presently residing abroad while one agent has been identified by FIA Balochistan during the investigation.
FIA is investigating the cases purely on merit and scientific techniques.
Other law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies have been taken on-board to finalise the investigation.
Call Date Records (CDRs), VeriSys and location of deceased mobiles and the agents involved are being compared and analysed while 14 Iranian Agents have also been identified.
Letters have been issued to INTERPOL and Ministry of Foreign Affairs for contacting Iranian Police authorities for apprehending 14 Iranian agents.
The law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies are sharing valuable information as and when received.
The FIA Gujranwala is continuously striving against the land route mafia and other illegal human traffickers.