After the migrant boat disaster that occurred off the coast of Greece earlier in June, claiming the lives of over 300 Pakistani immigrants, around 40-50 Pakistanis that were initially waiting in Libya to set sail for Italy are now returning home.

According to reports by Dawn, these illegal immigrants had paid at least PKR 2.5 million each to different human traffickers and their agents, in order to reach Europe via sea travel. However, last month’s horrific tragedy has prompted many to return home to Pakistan. 

Upon their return, complaints were lodged against the human traffickers in order to reclaim the astronomical amounts paid. According to the Station House officer of Gujrat Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) police station, Irtaza Ansar Warraich, 125 cases have been filed in the last four weeks in connection to the boat tragedy. Of these complainants, those recently returning from Libya are also included.

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Most of the returning immigrants are residents of Gujrat and Mandi Bahauddin, as reported by a local senior official of the FIA in a conversation with Dawn

According to one of the last total 12 Pakistani nationals who survived the boat tragedy, Usman Siddique, there is allegedly 20,000 illegal immigrants who are at human trafficker safe houses in Libya, waiting for their turn to travel to Europe.

Officer Warraich also told Dawn that, since the boat disaster, at least 35 suspects involved in illegal human trafficking have been arrested, including notorious trafficker Muhammad Saleem Suniara. 

Suniara had nine cases registered against him in FIA’s Gujrat circle alone. He is also accused of sending money via hundi to his brother Asif Suniara, who is the main person accused in the migrant boat tragedy.

According to Aaj News, Asif is allegedly hiding in Libya currently and still operating safe houses containing migrants waiting to be moved to Europe.