Monday, July 15, 2024

16 Pakistani ‘Beggars’ Traveling to Saudi Arabia in Guise of Umrah Arrested in Multan

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has recently apprehended sixteen members of a family who were attempting to exploit Umrah pilgrimage visas for illicit purposes, shedding light on a disconcerting issue. These individuals, consisting of 11 women, five men, and one child, were intercepted while trying to board a plane in Multan, Pakistan, ostensibly on a religious journey to Saudi Arabia for Umrah. However, subsequent interrogation revealed a troubling truth: their actual intent was to engage in begging within the kingdom.

The arrested family members confessed that they were part of a larger network, with three agents facilitating their travel and stay in Saudi Arabia. These agents were poised to receive a substantial portion—50 percent—of the money collected through begging. This revelation underscores the presence of organized begging rings that exploit vulnerable individuals for financial gain.

The incident is indicative of a wider problem, as highlighted by the Secretary Overseas’s recent statement that a significant majority (90%) of beggars arrested abroad are Pakistani nationals. It not only tarnishes the image of Pakistani citizens but also raises concerns about human trafficking, exploitation, and the abuse of religious visas.

The case filed against these suspects and the ongoing investigation serve as critical steps in addressing this issue and bringing those involved to justice. Furthermore, it underscores the need for stricter oversight and measures to combat human trafficking and the abuse of religious visas to maintain the sanctity of pilgrimage and protect vulnerable individuals from exploitation.

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