Human trafficking scam: FIA gets access to Thai embassy employee | Pakistan Today

Human trafficking scam: FIA gets access to Thai embassy employee

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday expanded the scope of investigation into the human trafficking scandal, involving an official of Royal Embassy of Thailand using fake documents to get visas for Afghan government officials, after new evidence emerged to establish a nexus between the Thai embassy official and some local travel agents.

In a major breakthrough, the Royal Embassy of Thailand has also offered to present its employee, namely Javed, before FIA for investigation. Moreover, Akhtar Traveling Agency owner has also been directed to be present at the FIA office today (Thursday).

The FIA also obtained a four-day physical remand of Idrees Fiazi, an Afghan national and owner of ARSA consultancy, who was involved in making fake documents of Afghanistan embassy and then using these for human smuggling.

According to FIA officials, Idrees Fiazi was in contact with Javed who was recruited through Najeebullah (a student of Comsats University) as a peon but was working on visa desk. The embassy official used to deliver the fake recommendation letters along with a fake stamp of Afghanistan Embassy in Islamabad, allegedly by Asim of Akhtar Traveling Agency, Blue Area, Islamabad.

FIA arrested Fiazi two days back from Islamabad and recovered 15 Afghan passports, a mobile phone, a laptop and some dollars from his possession. An FIA official requesting anonymity, told Pakistan Today that the agency had sent the laptop, mobile phone and other equipment for a forensic audit.

“Initial investigation has revealed that Javed had been in contact with Akhtar Traveling Agency and some other local agents during his office timings, suggesting that he might be deeply involved with Faizi and other suspects for developing fake documents for human smuggling. Moreover, the FIA has also unearthed new evidence suggesting that after the arrest of Najeebullah, the suspect Javed had sent text messages through some private phone number to Faizi, asking him not to travel to Pakistan as FIA had arrested Najeeb,” an investigator said on the condition of anonymity.

However, the official said that Faizi contacted Najeeb to get the information confirmed. “The FIA ‘managed’ to trick Faizi into thinking that Najeeb had managed to get free after bribing an FIA official. “I have new friends in the FIA so there is no risk in travelling to Pakistan,” the official quoted Najeeb as telling Faizi.

“However, keeping in view the situation, Faizi also dodged Najeeb by telling him that he was flying back to Islamabad but instead chose to return by road rather than coming by air. He was still arrested by FIA despite all taking all precautions.

When contacted, Charge d’ Affairs of Royal Embassy of Thailand Surashete Boontinand informed Pakistan Today that the embassy would hand over Javed’s custody to FIA for investigation. “We believe that he (Javed) is clean. But to be able to clear his name, we are [now] also willing to let him go and prove himself [right] during investigations,” he added.

It is noted that the Afghan national, Fiazi had developed a network of human smuggling. For the purpose, the FIA official said, the Afghan national had been sending Afghan government officials to Thailand, showing them as private citizens staying in Islamabad.

Earlier this month, the Thailand embassy’s senior officials had informed the FIA 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.

Mian Abrar

The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He can be reached at [email protected]

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