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FIA constitutes teams to arrest human traffickers in Greece boat disaster

Expanding the scope of its investigation into the Greece shipwreck incident, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Monday formed teams in major cities, including Lahore, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi and Islamabad to bring the human traffickers to justice, it emerged on Monday.

The decision was made during a meeting held with FIA Director General Mohsin Hassan Butt at the agency’s headquarters in Islamabad today, according to a statement issued by the FIA.

Authorities in Europe still have no clear idea how many people were aboard the boat when it sank — estimates range from 400 to over 700 — but likely hundreds came from Pakistan, and many from Azad Jammu Kashmir. As per the foreign media reports, 80 people have died and hundreds were still missing.


The United Nations Human Rights office said in a statement on Sunday that at least 500 people were still missing and that dozens of people were known to have perished. A good number of women and children were among the missing persons in the “horrific trage­dy”. The ferry boat was carrying up to 750 people that went down 50 nautical miles off Pylos in southern Greece, it further said.


Chairing the meeting, the FIA DG directed to complete the investigations against the human traffickers in connection with the Greece shipwreck at the earliest.


“To prevent such incidents in the future, a meeting of the FIA’s inter-agency task force has also been called tomorrow in which an effective strategy will be chalked out,” read the statement.


Terming the human traffickers and their facilitators “international culprits”, the FIA DG directed to take action against the content relating to crossing the border illegally on the social media.


The meeting was told the 83 residents of Punjab were still missing in the tragic incident.


In addition to this, three inquiries and six FIRs have been lodged against more than 20 human traffickers so for, read the statement. Meanwhile five human smugglers have also been arrested from Gujrat, Gujranwala and Lahore, it added.


“Elements involved in heinous crimes like human trafficking deserve no leniency,” asserted the DG.