ISLAMABAD: The United Kingdom deported 23 Pakistanis living illegally in the country on Thursday.
They were sent back to Pakistan on a special flight that landed at the Islamabad International Airport. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) allowed the deported Pakistanis to head to their homes after landing.
In October last year, Thai authorities had convicted at least 70 Pakistani asylum seekers of staying illegally in Thailand, as police led a crackdown on illegal immigration.
The Taling Chan Provincial Court had issued fines and up to two-month jail sentences to the group, which was charged with overstaying their visas and illegal entry. An officer in charge of the case, who declined to be named because of office policy, had said they will be held in a detention centre until they are deported.
The group was accompanied by 11 children. Police said 52 of the defendants were arrested after they were found to have formed a group that smuggled Pakistani asylum seekers into Thailand with the goal of reaching other countries.
According to a report submitted to the National Assembly in 2017, more than half a million Pakistanis have been deported from 134 countries around the world since January 2012.