As many as 16 alleged beggars were offloaded by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) from the Saudi Arabia-bound flight at Multan airport.
The beggars were travelling to the Saudi Arabia in the guise of Umrah pilgrims. The group of beggars had 11 women, four men and a child and they were traveling on Umrah visas.
The passengers confessed during the immigration process that they were going to visit the holy land to seek alms.
According to the FIA officials, the beggars had an agreement that they would have to give half of their earnings to the travel agents involved in their arrangements.
All the 16 passengers were arrested by the FIA Multan circle for further interrogation and legal action.
It merits mention here that the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development told the Senate Committee on Overseas Pakistanis that a large number of beggars are trafficked abroad through illegal channels.
The ministry said that 90 percent of beggars apprehended in foreign countries belong to Pakistan.
“Both the Iraqi and Saudi ambassadors have reported overcrowded jails due to these arrests,” the ministry said.