LAHORE: Eleven more Chinese nationals, including eight bridegrooms, were taken into custody by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) here on Thursday in the Pakistani bride trafficking scandal.
In Islamabad, a court released two Chinese nationals married to Pakistani women after their spouses testified that they had married the men of their free will.
Since the launch of the crackdown last week in Faisalabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, the FIA has arrested more than 30 Chinese nationals and about a dozen of their local facilitators.
An Islamabad court releases two Chinese nationals after their Pakistani wives testify they have married them of their free will
The FIA initiated the action against Chinese nationals on the complaints of some victim girls and their parents about their (brides) “mistreatment, sexual exploitation and organ removal” in China. However, the FIA has yet to make physical verification of these claims.
All the suspects have been booked under Section 3/4 of Trafficking in Person Ordinance, 2018, and under Sections 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
“On the complaint of Amna Nazir, a victim girl, the FIA raided a house in Jauhar Town on Thursday and arrested 11 Chinese nationals with their two local servants. Of the arrested Chinese, eight are bridegrooms and three brokers,” FIA Punjab (zone-I) Director Waqar Abbasi said.
The arrested Chinese men are identified as Hongfa Yang, Libing Liu, Bo Wang, Chuanjia Liu, Gongze He, Tianyi Liu, Feng Xnu Yang, Song Guoqian, Liu and Wei Linping alias David. A judicial magistrate remanded them into the FIA’s physical custody for two days.
Nazir Ahmed of Ashiana Quaid, Main Ferozpur Road, told the FIA that some agents contacted him for marrying off his daughter to a Muslim Chinese man. “I was told if my daughter, Amna, went to China and worked there she would earn handsomely. I married off Amna to Chan Yan Ming, who fraudulently portrayed himself as Muslim.”
Mr Ahmad paid marriage expenses while agents got their commission. “A few days after the couple’s departure for China, I received a call from Amna saying Chan was not Muslim and he was trying to sexually exploit her,” Mr Ahmed said, adding his daughter revealed to him that her husband and others were involved in the business of bringing Pakistani girls to China and made them involved in unethical business like forced labour, sexual exploitation and human organs trade.
“On this, I contacted the agents who had arranged my daughter’s marriage and requested them to arrange the return of her daughter. They told me to contact their boss David in Islamabad. When I contacted Wei Linping alias David he told me that these agents had taken Rs2 million for arranging the marriage of my daughter and if I want my daughter back I will have to pay this amount,” he said.
Amna Nazir somehow managed to return to Pakistan early this month. On her disclosure, the FIA arrested Chinese nationals, including David, from Jauhar Town.
About the modus operandi of such gangs, official said they would target poor families, mostly Christians, in different cities of Punjab. The gang would bear all expenses of the marriage and also gave cash, gold and gifts to the brides’ families.
These gangs had also got the girls tested for HIV before their marriage which surprised the brides’ families.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its recent report said that hundreds of Myanmar women and girls were tricked into travelling to China through promises of employment only to be sold off to Chinese families as brides and held in sexual slavery often for years. Journalists have documented similar forms of bride trafficking from Cambodia, Laos, North Korea and Vietnam.
In Islamabad, a court on Thursday rejected the FIA’s request for the physical remand of 14 Chinese nationals and sent them to jail on judicial remand instead.
Senior civil judge Amir Aziz Khan directed for the suspects to be produced after the 15-day judicial remand expires.
The FIA’s Anti-Human Trafficking Cell recovered three Pakistani women on Wednesday and arrested 14 Chinese nationals in connection with alleged fake marriages to Pakistani women for the purposes of trafficking them to China for organ removal or sex trade.
Malik Asad from Islamabad also contributed to this report
Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2019