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Sunday June 23, 2024

Rights activist Sarim Burney arrested for human trafficking

He is accused of illegal child adoption, illegal transfer of children and selling children in the US

By Faraz Khan
June 06, 2024
An undated image of human rights activist Sarim Burney. — Instagram/@sarimburneytrust/File
An undated image of human rights activist Sarim Burney. — Instagram/@sarimburneytrust/File 

KARACHI: Human rights activist Sarim Burney was arrested by the Anti-Human Trafficking Cell of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Wednesday.

Burney was taken into custody at the Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, upon his return from the United States. He is accused of illegal child adoption, illegal transfer of children and selling children in the US. The arrest resulted from a joint operation by the FIA and an international agency.

Sarim Burney is an entrepreneur, founder, and chairman of the non-profit organisation ‘Sarim Burney Welfare Trust’. The renowned social worker faces grave charges of illegal child trafficking and sale.

According to FIA officials, Burney is accused of unlawfully transferring over 30 children to the US. The FIA’s investiga-tion began following a complaint from the US government. Burney and his trust allegedly facilitated the illegal adop-tion of these children. Sources within the FIA stated that the children were handed over to the Sarim Burney Trust at various times in Karachi.

Three days ago, Sarim Burney released a statement on social media denying the allegations, asserting that they are false, and expressing his intention to return to Pakistan to face the charges. Sources indicate that Burney’s move-ments have been under surveillance for some time. He was arrested upon arrival at the Karachi airport on a flight from the United States.

Following his arrest, Burney’s legal team attempted to meet him outside the FIA office. However, the lawyers of Sarim Burney Trust were unable to see him. They stated that they had also filed a petition against the FIA. As of now, the exact charges against Sarim Burney have not been fully disclosed.