By M Zulqernain (Eds: Updating with more quotes, background)
Lahore, May 9 Eleven Chinese were among 13 suspects remanded in custody by a Lahore court on Thursday for a probe into a transnational gang allegedly involved in forced prostitution of Pakistani girls and running an organ trade racket.
Judicial Magistrate Amir Raza directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials to complete the probe within two days and produce the suspects in court on May 11.
During the last few days, the FIA) has arrested more than 40 Chinese nationals and 15 of their local facilitators from Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Faislabad cities for their alleged involvement in arranging fake marriages of Pakistani women, removing their organs and forcing them into prostitution.
"On Thursday we raided a house in Johar Town on the complaint of victim bride Amna Nazir and arrested 11 Chinese men and two of their local facilitator," FIA senior officer Waqar Abbasi told .
He said the girls who got married to Chinese men stayed in this house before leaving for China.
"Last week four Chinese nationals along with their Pakistani wives departed to China," Abbasi said.
The FIA has made dozens of arrests of Chinese nationals in the Punjab province amid reports that hundreds of Pakistani women, many of them belonging to less privileged Christian families, have already been trafficked after being trapped into fake marriages.
The agency has the record of some 95 girls who have travelled to China after marrying Chinese nationals.
It said the Chinese gang would target poor families, mostly Christians, in different cities of Punjab.
"The gang would bear all expenses of the marriage and also give cash and gifts to the bride's family," the FIA said, adding the Chinese nationals used to claim themselves as Chritians or Muslims with the help of fake conversion certificates to cheat the Pakistani families.
The Chinese men paid cash and gold ornaments to the Pakistani facilitators for marriage with Pakistani girls.
The FIA has registered an FIR against the suspects under under sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, it said.
The agency has been conducting raids to recover the remaining four women who were allegedly married off to Chinese men.
Hundreds of Chinese have come to live in Pakistan in connection with various development work undertaken by the Chinese companies under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) mentioned in one of its reports that hundreds of Myanmar women and girls were tricked into travelling to China through promises of employment only to be sold off to Chinese families as brides and held in sexual slavery often for years.
Those who escaped often had to leave their children behind. Journalists documented similar forms of bride trafficking from Cambodia, Laos, North Korea and Vietnam, it said.
In a statement issued on April 26, the HRW called on China and Pakistan to take action to end bride trafficking following increasing evidence that Pakistani women and girls are at risk of sexual slavery in China.
According to the local media reports, poor Christian girls are lured with money and promises of a 'good life' by the illegal matchmaking centres to marry Chinese men who are either visiting or working in Pakistan.
These centres produce fake documents of Chinese men showing them either as Christians or Muslims. Most of the girls reportedly became victims of human trafficking and were forced into prostitution, the reports said. MZ/MRJ AKJ MRJ
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds.