News Desk |
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested eight Chinese nationals and their four Pakistani accomplices in connection with their alleged involvement in trafficking Pakistani girls to China and enforcing them into prostitution.
The FIA busted the racket of Chinese and Pakistani nationals on charges of trafficking young women to China after marrying them. According to FIA Lahore Deputy Director Jamil Ahmed Khan Meo, the agency launched a crackdown across Punjab on the directives of FIA Director General Bashir Memon and made arrests on Monday.
The suspects arrested during a raid on Divine Homes were identified as Wang Hao, Shui Sheli, Wang Yezho, Chang Shel Roy, Pan Khowajay, Wang Bao, Zoathi and a woman named Ken Dis. Meo said that the suspects were involved in marrying Pakistani girls with the help of local agents and forcing them into prostitution. He said that a total of 10 Chinese nationals have so far been arrested.
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Meanwhile, the four Pakistani facilitators of the Chinese nationals were identified as Qaiser, Kashif Nawaz, Ismail Yousuf, and Zahid Maseeh. Pakistani media speculated that the suspected leader of the ring is the son of a Punjab Police officer, who fled when a raid was conducted for his arrest. The media reports added that the suspected ring leader has got interim bail until May 13.
Gang Targeted Christian Families
A top official at FIA, Jameel Ahmad, who deals with human trafficking cases, told Reuters that several gangs were believed to be operating and their main target was the members of Christian community.
“We busted the gang after the FIA received information about increasing smuggling of Pakistani woman to China where they are thrown into prostitution,” Ahmad told Reuters. Since a part of a growing human trafficking problem was based on ‘fake marriages’, he said, the FIA officials also attended a wedding in Faisalabad and collected particulars of the suspected Chinese nationals in order to trace the traffickers.
Ahmad said a man and a woman from China and a fake priest were arrested at the ceremony where a Christian girl was to be married. “The gang members confessed that they have sent at least 36 Pakistani girls to China where they are being used for prostitution,” he told Reuters. The majority were Christians from different districts in eastern Punjab province, he said.
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The FIA officials said that poor Pakistani Christian girls are lured into marriages with Chinese men on the pretext that they are Christian and wealthy. However, they said, the girls are trapped as neither the men are Christian nor wealthy.
In a statement issued on April 26, the Human Rights Watch called on China and Pakistan to take action to end bride trafficking, warning of “increasing evidence that Pakistani women and girls are at risk of sexual slavery in China.”