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Four more ‘beggars’ disguised as Umrah pilgrims arrested in Lahore

06:47 PM | 7 Oct, 2023
Four more ‘beggars’ disguised as Umrah pilgrims arrested in Lahore

LAHORE - In another operation, the Federal Investigation Agency's Anti-Human Trafficking and Smuggling wing intercepted a group of suspected beggars at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport on Friday.

The individuals were reportedly attempting to travel to Saudi Arabia, disguising their intentions under the guise of the Umrah pilgrimage. The operation is part of a recent series of similar incidents, drawing concern over Pakistan's image on the global stage.

In the latest episode, two men and two women were identified, offloaded, and subsequently handed over to the police by FIA immigration officers for further investigations.

Interestingly, the alleged beggars admitted that they had previously traveled to Iran and Iraq for begging purposes, confessing the involvement of Pakistani travel agents who facilitated their journeys.

As part of the plans, these agents would strategically place the beggars in densely populated regions of Saudi Arabia to maximize their earnings, with half of the proceeds going to the agents.

According to the FIA spokesperson, cases have been registered against both the accused and the agents, and further investigations are underway.

In a similar operation conducted last week, a group including children and women was thwarted from departing for Saudi Arabia under the pretext of an Umrah pilgrimage, raising concerns about exploiting religious sentiments for illicit activities.

The operation revealed an alarming pattern of exploitation by an agent named Nuro. Amongst the arrested, all hailed from Kassowal town in Punjab's Chichawatni tehsil, Sahiwal district.

 The severity of the matter could be gauged from the fact that even the lawmakers were told about the episode. In a recent Senate discussion, it was revealed that a significant 90% of professional beggars apprehended in Middle Eastern nations originate from Pakistan.

The Standing Committee of Overseas Pakistanis was also informed that Pakistani nationals have been disproportionately involved in petty crimes, including pickpocketing, around the revered Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia, Express Tribune reported.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Rupee exchange rate to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 25 Feb 2024 forex rates

Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 25, 2024 (Sunday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 25 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94

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