ISLAMABAD – The Federal Investigation Agency on Friday claimed it arrested 8,790 human traffickers in the last five years as part of its anti-human trafficking drive and helped to save Rs763 million on the national kitty by busting grey trafficking cartels active in the telecom sector.

The FIA top brass revealed this during a meeting at FIA Headquarters that was chaired by Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

FIA Director General Mohammad Anwar Virk, while presenting the performance report of the Agency, informed the meeting that Anti-Human Trafficking Wing of the FIA arrested 1,642 human traffickers in 2008, 1775 in 2009, 1779 in 2010, 1639 in 2011 and 1955 in 2012.

The meeting was informed that the Agency registered 22,654 cases during the last five years, arrested 2,189 proclaimed offenders (POs) and 580 court absconders and also got 18,138 accused convicted from the courts in different cases.

It was also informed that the Agency helped saving Rs763 million of the national exchequer by nabbing many rackets involved in illegal business of grey trafficking by establishing illegal telephone exchanges in different parts of the country. A top FIA official said the Agency conducted successful raids in different cities of the country, particularly in Lahore and Karachi, against illegal telephone calls set-ups and confiscated 49 illegal gateway exchanges.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the FIA and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had been tasked with taking action against those involved in grey trafficking.

"I must appreciate the FIA for conducting raids and confiscating the equipment being used in the illegal business of telephone exchanges," he said. The minister further said that some influential people in Sindh were also found involved in illegal gateway exchanges and FIA had been directed to take action against them as well.

He commended FIA Director General Anwar Virk and his predecessors over the performance of the Agency during the last five years and said a committee headed by Additional Secretary Ministry of Interior had been constituted to further investigate a case relating to the financial scams of Rs103 billion. At the same time, he avoided to reveal the details of such a mega corruption scandal.

On the issue of extradition of former Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority chairman Tauqeer Sadiq, Malik said Sadiq got Afghanistan visa from Peshawar on June 18, 2012 and used unfrequented route to reach Kabul. Sharing the details with the media, he said Tauqeer took flight from Kabul on June 21 last year and reached Abu Dhabi. A case has been registered against him for using unfrequented route to reach Kabul, he added.

Regarding the Shahrukh Jatoi case, the minister said he had sought a report from the authorities concerned as to how he travelled from Pakistan through fake documents. He said responsible ones would be dealt as per the law. Replying to a question about case of six Afghans travelling on fake documents, the minister said the officials indulged in this episode had been arrested and would face court of law.

Malik also lauded FIA for investigating cases particularly Mumbai blasts and assassination of PPP leader Benazir Bhutto. He dispelled the impression and said he was ready to brief the opposition about all the details of investigations, which were conducted in a transparent manner. He said the meeting also took some decisions to further improve the performance of FIA as well as for the welfare of its employees.