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Pakistan arrests four human traffickers linked with Libya boat tragedy

Most of the deceased Pakistani migrants hail from Punjab’s districts

18:28 February 4, 2018

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency on Sunday arrested four alleged human traffickers linked with the migrant boat tragedy in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya that killed 90 people, including 16 Pakistanis.

Most of the deceased Pakistani migrants hail from Punjab’s districts, including Mandi Bahauddin, Sargodha, Gujrat and Rawalpindi, Dawn reported.

“The four suspects were arrested after the FIA conducted raids in Gujranwala, Gujrat and Mandi Bahauddin,” the paper quoted the agency’s deputy director as saying.

He said the raids were conducted as part of a crackdown against those involved in human trafficking.

At least 16 Pakistanis were among 90 people drowned off the coast of Libya after a smuggler’s boat they were riding capsized last week.

The International Organisation for Migration has pointed out that Pakistanis made up the 13th largest group trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe last year, with 3,138 of them arriving in Italy in 2017, and no recorded sea deaths, the paper said.