LAHORE : Saudi government while taking action on intelligence report has arrested 18 Pakistani women and men working in the country as beggars.

With the beginning of Umrah season, beggar mafia has become active and has sent at least 210 Pakistani beggars to Madina on Umrah visas.

Police is conducting raids to arrest other 192 people. The detainees have been kept in Madina jail with women in barrack no.56 and men in barrack no.47.

Those arrested belong to South Punjab while mostly are residents of Rahim Yar Khan and Dera Ghazi Khan.

The detainees include Amir Khan, Shabeeran Bibi, Mukhtar Ahmed, Niamat, Nusrat Bibi, Sajawal Hussain, Shama, Abdul Qudoos, Nazeera Bibi, Zareena Bibi, Riaz Ahmed, Nazeeran Bibi, Azam Khan, Zehru Khan, Muneeran Bibi, Sahiba Mai, Mehru Mai and Meenu Mai.

The group head Mukhtar has also been arrested who used to deal with them in Madina.

He has revealed that the 210 people have been sent to Madina after visas were issued to them from a travel agency of Karachi and Rahim Yar Khan.

“The beggars stay in Madina till Hajj and earn 20,000-25,000 riyal. Half of the money goes to the organizers and the remaining are ours. Before coming to Madina, Jamal Khan from Dera Ghazi Khan and Dawai Khan from Karachi give us some amount in advance for our family. The amount is then deducted from the earnings of begging,” he pronounced.

Mukhtar disclosed that the beggars have reached Madina through Ali Shah travel agency of Rahim Yar Khan’s Malik Iqbal who is also a partner.

Jamal Khan’s brother Zaru Khan deals with the beggars in Makkah and Madina and possess many passports, he added.

Mukhtar also identified three men who support them and are appointed on significant posts in Pakistan.

However, travel agency head Malik Iqbal has denied the accusation and has said that they are not involved in the act and send people abroad through legal means.

He said that they are not responsible if someone is arrested abroad for any wrongdoing.