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Pakistan moves to charge traffickers with money laundering over Greece boat tragedy

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Pakistan has decided to charge the suspected human traffickers involved in last month’s shipwreck off the coast of Greece under the country’s anti-money laundering law, an official statement said on Monday, Anadolu Agency reports.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), which is investigating the gory incident in which some 350 Pakistanis were among over 800 onboard a fishing trawler that sank, said in a statement that the passports of the suspected traffickers will also be blacklisted, apart from blocking their national identity cards and bank accounts.

The decisions were announced during a meeting held in the north-eastern city of Lahore to review the progress in the shipwreck investigation with Director General FIA, Mohsin Butt, in the chair.

READ: European official: Recent migrant boat tragedy could be the worst in the Mediterranean

The incident that shook the South Asian nuclear nation led to a countrywide crackdown against the human traffickers who have long been luring the youths to illegally transport them to Europe against huge amounts.

A total of 149 cases have, so far, been registered following the shipwreck, while 41 suspected human traffickers have been arrested, the statement said.

Hundreds of unemployment-stricken Pakistani youths risk their lives to reach Europe by sea and road for a better future after paying huge amounts to human smugglers, despite frequent accidents. Many of them are even shot by border guards.

In March this year, a famous Pakistani woman athlete Shahida Raza, and several others were killed after a boat carrying more than 150 others from Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan crashed into the rocks trying to reach the shores in Crotone, Italy.

Source: Middle East Monitor 

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