Suspected prostitution ring: FIA arrests 14 more Chinese nationals, recovers girls and weapons

Published May 8, 2019
At least one hand gun, a meat cleaver and a sword can be seen among the things confiscated during the raids conducted on Wednesday.  — Photo by author
At least one hand gun, a meat cleaver and a sword can be seen among the things confiscated during the raids conducted on Wednesday. — Photo by author

Federal Investigation Agency's (FIA) Anti-Human Trafficking Cell on Wednesday recovered three Pakistani girls and arrested another 14 Chinese nationals in continuation of its crackdown on the gangs involved in fake marriages with Pakistani girls for trafficking them to China allegedly for organ removal and sexual exploitation.

According to well-informed sources within the FIA, the arrests and recoveries were made during raids conducted in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

The suspects wanted to smuggle the girls abroad under the pretense of marriages, the sources said, adding that for the first time weapons were also recovered from the Chinese nationals.

The FIA sources further said that the detained suspects were being transferred to the agency headquarters, where they expect to extract more information from them during investigation.

The arrests today add to the approximately 17 Chinese nationals arrested over the span of a week in separate raids in the capital, Lahore and Faisalabad amid reports that over 90 Pakistani women, many of them belonging to less privileged Christian families, have already been trafficked after being trapped into fake marriages.

As the sex and human trafficking scam came to light, federal Interior Minister retired Brig Ijaz Ahmad Shah had taken notice of the issue directing the officials to engage ambassadors and government officials in the matter while chairman of the Senate standing committee on interior Rehman A. Malik sought a detailed report from relevant officials on the issue within the next three days.

The series of arrests come a week after Human Rights Watch said Pakistan should be alarmed by recent reports of trafficking of women and girls to China. It said the allegations were disturbingly similar to the pattern of trafficking of "brides" to China from at least five other Asian countries.

The Chinese embassy in Islamabad has also raised the alarm over illegal, cross-border matchmaking services that are often a front for human trafficking. Last month, it issued a statement condemning reports of the existence of bureaus orchestrating illegal marriages. "China is working together with the Pakistani government and law enforcement agencies to track these illegal marriage centres," the statement said.

Opinion

Editorial

02 Dec 2021

Funding for polls

THE PTI government’s autocratic mentality is again on full display, even as it feigns adherence to the law....
02 Dec 2021

Soaring prices

PRICES are surging. And they are increasing at a much faster pace than anticipated, burdening millions of...
Ali Wazir’s bail
Updated 02 Dec 2021

Ali Wazir’s bail

IT has been a long time coming, but MNA and Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement leader Ali Wazir has finally been granted bail...
Covid funds controversy
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Covid funds controversy

A COMPREHENSIVE and detailed report by the auditor general of Pakistan on the utilisation of Covid-19 funds by the...
01 Dec 2021

Sindh LG law

THE Sindh Local Government Act, 2013, introduced by the PPP to roll back the Musharraf-era local bodies system in ...
Monster of circular debt
Updated 01 Dec 2021

Monster of circular debt

The crisis facing the energy sector cannot be tackled sustainably without taming the many elephants in the room.