Islamabad [Pakistan], October 1 (ANI): The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has intercepted and offloaded 16 alleged 'beggars' disguised as Umrah pilgrims, from a flight bound for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at Multan airport, Dawn reported.
The group, comprising 11 women, four men, and a child, had initially been travelling on Umrah visas.
During the immigration process, FIA officials questioned the passengers, who confessed to their true intent of travelling to Saudi Arabia for the purpose of begging, as reported by Dawn.
They further revealed that they were obligated to share half of their begging earnings with the agents responsible for arranging their travel.
Upon this discovery, the FIA Multan Circle detained the passengers for further investigation and legal action.
These arrests followed revelations made by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development to the Senate Committee on Overseas Pakistanis, where it was disclosed that a significant number of beggars are trafficked abroad through illegal means.
The ministry's secretary informed the Senate panel that a staggering 90 per cent of beggars detained in foreign countries are of Pakistani origin, causing overcrowding in jails as reported by both the Iraqi and Saudi ambassadors, Dawn reported. (ANI)