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Pakistan: 10 human trafficking agents arrested as 400 Pakistani migrants feared dead in Greece boat disaster

According to a report by the local English daily, Dawn, at least 400 Pakistani, 200 Egyptians and 150 Syrians, including around two dozen Syrian women and young children, were travelling on the trawler.

Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Islamabad Updated on: June 19, 2023 11:18 IST
Greece boat disaster
Image Source : GREECE COAST GUARD Greece boat disaster

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday announced a high-level investigation to trace the human traffickers behind the Greece boat tragedy that lead to the death of hundreds of citizens in the Mediterranean Sea. As of now, at least 10 sub-agents responsible for human trafficking were arrested from several locations in Pakistan.

According to a report by the local English daily, Dawn, at least 400 Pakistani, 200 Egyptians and 150 Syrians, including around two dozen Syrian women and young children, were travelling on the trawler.

Although there was no official confirmation from either the Greece administration or Pakistan whether the missing 500 migrants are dead or still alive, multiple media reported that the Islamabad citizens were killed considering the fact the accident took place around four days ago and none of them contacted or made distress calls.

Country mourns ‘hundreds’ lost in boat mishap

As the incident highlights the deplorable situation of citizens in the cash-strapped nation, PM Sharif formed a committee for a probe into the trafficking, as he declared mourning on account of the boat tragedy.
"Tomorrow, the national flag will fly on half-mast and special prayers would be offered for the deceased,” Dawn quoted in a press release issued by the PM’s Office. The four-member committee would submit a report in a week. “The number of casualties is being still ascertained,” the statement said.

10 agents/sub-agents arrested

The inquiry committee would ascertain facts of the boat tragedy and identify loopholes in the enforcement mechanism that exposed Pakistanis to the “vagaries of human trafficking in this particular case”.

Those who were arrested on Sunday include either “sub-agents” or “agents” of Chaudhry Zulqernain, Talat Kiani, Khalid Mirza, and Sajid Mehmood — major human traffickers. 

As per the report, during the preliminary interrogation, the suspects made shocking disclosures, including the names of traffickers and their modus operandi. The police said as per the information obtained from ‘sub-agents’, aspirants were “legally flown” to the UAE, Egypt, and Libya from where they would embark on the dangerous voyage, reported Pakistani media.

Also Read: Greece boat disaster: 300 Pakistani migrants including children missing as vessel sink in Mediterranean Sea

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