–Idrees Fiazi helped Afghan govt officials get Thai visas
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested an Afghan national from Islamabad who was involved in human smuggling by using fake stamps and letterheads of the Afghanistan embassy for obtaining Thai visas for Afghan government officials by showing them as private citizens.
A senior official of the FIA, privy to the development, informed Pakistan Today that Afghan national Idrees Fiazi had developed a network for human smuggling. For the purpose, the official said, the Afghan national had been sending Afghan government officials to Thailand, impersonating them as private citizens.
The official said that Thai embassy’s senior officials had informed the FIA earlier this month that they had received recommendation letters from the Afghanistan embassy in Islamabad for the issuance of visas for seven Afghan government officials. However, once cross-checked with the Afghan embassy, the letters were found to be fabricated.
“On February 5, the FIA registered an FIR regarding this matter and arrested Najeebullah, a student of Comsat University and a part of this gang, from Islamabad. During investigation, Najeebullah revealed that Javed, a cashier in Thailand embassy, and Idrees Fiazi, the owner of ARSA consultancy Afghanistan, were the main culprits running this human smuggling gang,” the FIA official said.
The official said that the investigation agency also held a meeting with the Thai ambassador and brought these revelations to his knowledge.
The official said that accused Najeeb alleged that Idrees had left Islamabad on January 29, 2018, for Kabul. “According to Najeeb, Idrees used to travel to Pakistan by road. He brings the passports of Afghan nationals, mostly government servants, who themselves are residing in Afghanistan. He then makes fake NoCs and recommendation letters of Afghan embassy in Islamabad for the issuance of visas and recommends those Afghan nationals to Thai embassy, pretending that the passport holders are staying in Islamabad and need Thai visa for a visit,” the official explained.
“Najeeb also confessed that he was on the payroll of Idrees and he just had to submit those documents, including the NoCs, recommendation letters and passports to Thailand embassy official Javed. Once Najeeb finishes his work, Javed then manages the further process and gets Thai visas issued without conducting any interviews of the passport holders. He then returns the passports back to Najeeb,” the official said.
The official said that Najeeb claimed that he had been working with Idrees and Javed for the past one and a half month and had got visit visas issued for four persons.
“This was his second task,” the FIA official added.
The official told Pakistan Today that Idrees has been involved in human smuggling for many years and frequently visits Pakistan without any hurdles and checking.
Meanwhile, after taking the Thai envoy into confidence, the FIA also detained embassy’s official Javed. Later, the FIA officials tasked both Najeebullah and Javed to contact Idrees in Afghanistan and ask him to come to Pakistan along with all the seven passport holders to collect visas (if issued) or passport from the embassy by themselves.
Upon which, the official said that Idrees had agreed to visit Islamabad by air on Sunday morning and told them that he got a room reserved for him in Maskan Guest House in F-8 Markaz, Islamabad. The FIA officials had been tasked to arrest Idrees, who dodged the FIA and did not turn up at Islamabad Airport per his promise.
Later in the day, Idrees informed both Javed and Najeeb that he had arrived through road and had entered Torkham border. The FIA hence planned to arrest him with ‘concrete documentary evidence’ from the guest house located in a posh sector of the federal capital where he used to stay. FIA planned to further investigate how he had managed to get Thai visas for government officials and for what purpose.
The FIA believes that either those Afghan government officials belonged to National Directorate of Security (NDS)—the Afghan intelligence agency—or they had been tasked to sabotage Pakistan’s interests.
In a late night raid at Maskan Guest House, the FIA arrested Idrees along with his other accomplices and shifted them to FIA police station where an investigation into the matter commenced.