FIA arrests six officials for illegally issuing passports to Afghan citizens

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency has detected 100 Pakistani passports illegally issued to the Afghan nationals and arrested seven persons in this regard.

Sources said on Friday that the FIA Peshawar launched a probe into 100 illegally issued Pakistani passports to the Afghan nationals and arrested five local officials of the passport office and one agent.

According to the sources, the anti-corruption cell of FIA initiated an investigation into the scam of illegal passports on a tip-off. The agency gathered proofs and evidence and also arrested an official who worked as a ‘facilitator’ from the Islamabad passport office.

The FIA Peshawar detected the fraud when Pakistani citizens whose fingerprints and ID numbers were stolen and used in the issuance of passports, reached out to the authorities and made complaints.

Sources informed that at present the FIA was conducting five inquiries and it was expected that during the grilling of arrested persons, more details would emerge.

The Afghani nationals who have obtained illegal Pakistani passports are reported to have been travelling on these forged travel documents for years, the FIA sources concluded.

Last month the FIA has arrested an Afghan national, Gul Akhtar, who was flying to Saudi Arabia on PIA flight on a fake Pakistani passport.

During the investigation, Gul Ahmed said he was an Afghani national and was living in a refugee camp in Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He told the investigating officers that he obtained the fake passport with the help of an agent in Peshawar.

In January, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid told media that the government had cancelled 200,000 computerized national identity cards (CNICs) fraudulently obtained by the Afghan nationals. He said that these cards were issued on bogus documents. He also informed that 1.5 million Afghan refugees had been registered here while 0.8 million Afghan refugees were residing illegally in Pakistan.