In past few years everyone had seen travel agencies mushrooming in the city. Every now and than new packages are announced and publicized in newspapers and on cable TV via ticker tapes to attract people by their low fare packages. Recent case of fraud by one of the agent of such travel agency gives rise to the question of credibility of such agencies.
Five people arrested in KSA on charges of heroin smuggling belong to Karachi areas of Azizabad and Korangi. These families arrived in Saudi Arabia for Umrah on June 1, where they were arrested on heroin smuggling charges.
These families went to perform Umrah after consulting a â€œAl-Hadi Travel Agencyâ€. a sub-travel agent Sarwat Hussain, his wife Shfia and son Syed Faraz living in Korangi gave heroine hidden in Ahram and sandals to a family as a gift, which turned out to be their downfall.
According to Karachi metblogs:
They were offered complete Umrah package in just Rs. 35,000/- (where in general market it cost minimum Rs.65, 000/-). Their passports and tickets were not handed over till last moments and even told to not bring any other relatives at airport. On departure night they all gathered somewhere in Korangi for dinner and there the agent gave them tickets, passport, Ahram and leather shoes.
On Inquiring about these specific shoes, he responded that these shoes will act as identification for our agent at other end. They left Karachi safely without any trouble but at Jeddah airport heroin was found in their shoes and clothes.
Police registered a case On Raees Ahmedâ€™s complaint (father of Shumaila who is arrested along with her husband and three Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia), a case has been registered under section 34 and 420 at the Awami Colony Police Station. Among the accused sub-travel agentâ€™s son Faraz has been arrested for smuggling heroine through fraud and treachery using Pakistanis arrested in Saudi Arabia. Police has recovered 120 grams of heroin during the raid at his house while raids are being made to arrest Sarwat Hussain and his wife. Sources said that the sub-travel agent with his wife fled away to Lahore.On Raees Ahmedâ€™s complaint (father of Shumaila who is arrested along with her husband and three Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia), a case has been registered under section 34 and 420 at the Awami Colony Police Station.
Notice of this incident has been taken at the highest level and the federal interior ministry has asked for an immediate initial investigation report from Karachi police officials. The outgoing ambassador of Saudi Arabia from Pakistan Ali Awad Al-Aseeri has said that the Pakistani family arrested in Saudi Arabia for smuggling heroin would be provided full justice.
“If any injustice and excess was done to the Pakistani family arrested in heroin smuggling case, the matter would be probed thoroughly and any innocent would not be punished for the crime not committed” he said while talking to a private TV channel. The real culprits in the incident should be punished, he added.
The ambassador said that if any member of the affected family wanted to see him, then they should contact Saudi embassy and tell him full facts and full cooperation would be provided to the affected family.
Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said the Pakistani mission in Riyadh was in touch with the Saudi authorities to ensure that no innocent person was punished.
â€˜The government understands through preliminary reports that the couple is innocent and those who sent them to Saudi Arabia for Umrah are the real culprits and, therefore, the cabinet has decided to approach the Saudi government so that no innocent person is punished,â€™ he added.
Prompt action should be taken by the government against such culprits who are ruining Pakistan’s image globally. A check and balance system for travel agencies and such packages should be ensured to save innocent people from such frauds. People themselves also be careful whenever they got something to handover abroad even provided by relatives otherwise it will cost you.