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Saturday April 20, 2024

Police claim arresting main suspect in Greece boat tragedy

92 affected families have contacted FIA; Rana Sana says the investigation report to be filed within a week

By Ag App & Arshad Dogar & News Desk
June 21, 2023
This image released by The Hellenic Coastguard on June 14, 2023, shows an aerial view taken from a rescue helicopter, of migrants onboard a fishing vessel in the waters off the Peloponnese coast of Greece on June 13, 2023. — AFP
This image released by The Hellenic Coastguard on June 14, 2023, shows an aerial view taken from a rescue helicopter, of migrants onboard a fishing vessel in the waters off the Peloponnese coast of Greece on June 13, 2023. — AFP

LAHORE: The Punjab police claimed to have arrested the main suspect and human trafficker linked to the Greece boat tragedy.

A spokesperson said on Tuesday that the diligent efforts of the Vehari police team had led to the arrest of the suspect within 24 hours.

Additionally, the mobile phone of Aslam, containing crucial data and evidence, was recovered from the main accused, Mumtaz Arain.

Important documents were also seized during the initial investigation. The spokesperson further mentioned that the accused would be handed over to the FIA for further inquiry. At the same time, the crackdown against individuals involved in this heinous crime of human trafficking will continue.

Meanwhile, 92 affected families have contacted the FIA so far, sources said. They included 51 families from Gujranwala, three from Lahore and 38 from Gujrat. The DNA of 80 people has been taken from the affected families, while the FIA has registered 24 cases in Gujranwala, Lahore and Gujarat. It has identified 15 human traffickers so far. According to Greek authorities, 78 bodies cannot be identified without DNA.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that he had a useful telephonic conversation with Foreign Minister of Greece Vassilis Kaskarelis and agreed to closely work together to facilitate Pakistanis in distress and for the identification and repatriation of retrieved bodies. During the conversation, they discussed the tragic ferry disaster off the coast of Greece, the foreign minister posted on his Twitter handle.

On the other hand, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that an investigation report on the Greece boat disaster would be submitted within one week by duly fixing responsibility on those involved in negligence. Talking to a private news channel, the interior minister said the government would take strict action on the horrific incident.

In response to the Greek ship accident, a committee constituted under directives of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has commenced its investigation, he added. “The investigation committee will present its report in a week and further action will be taken by the federal government,” said the minister. He said the committee will ascertain the facts of the boat tragedy besides identifying loopholes and lapses in the legal mechanism in Pakistan that exposed precious human lives to the vagaries of human trafficking in this particular case and similar incidents in the past.

Action will be taken according to the legal framework, he said, adding that international coordination will also help to prevent, control, and punish human smuggling in the future. The government will also review short-term and long-term legislation to curb the issue besides envisaging laws for penalties to the people responsible for such kinds of incidents, he further added.