ATTOCK, Oct 4: The Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) has busted a three-member gang of federal government officials allegedly involved in human trafficking.

Sources in the FIA told Dawn that they got information that a racket of human traffickers used a fake letter of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to get note verbale issued from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Canadian High commission in Islamabad for the issuance of visas to five intending emigrants.

After verification showed that the letter and the note verbale were bogus, the director general FIA asked the director crime Islamabad zone to arrest the perpetrators.

A team was constituted under the supervision of a deputy director FIA anti-human trafficking unit which a few days back arrested two of the intending emigrants — Sher Mohammad and Mohammad Tahir Khan residents of Charsadda, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

On the basis of information obtained from the two men, the FIA team also arrested the gang leader Mushtaq Ahmed Khan along with his two other accomplices —Khalid Mehmood Khilji and Mir Mumtaz Ali Mirani, who were officials of three different federal government departments. An FIR was registered against the accused, sources added.

When contacted, the director FIA crime zone, Capt (retired) Zafar Iqbal Awan, said Mushtaq Ahmad Khan was working with the federal ombudsman office’s anti-harassment of women wing, Islamabad, and was the mastermind of the racket. They used to book intending emigrants on Canadian, European, Malaysian visas.

He said Khalid Mehmood Khilji, a resident of Islamabad, was working as an assistant private secretary in the Ministry of Law and used to format the recommendatory letters on behalf of different stakeholders/ministers. He said Mumtaz Ali Mirani was serving as a clerk in the office of the deputy chief of protocol-III, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and had allegedly prepared the note verbale.

The official said Rs1.5 million was taken from each intending emigrant by the accused. Further investigation into the case is underway, he added.

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