LAHORE – FIA authorities at Allama Iqbal International Airport here on Friday held more than 70 young passengers deported from Greece and released 35 after receiving cash bribe from them at the airport and sent others to Human Trafficking Cell (HTC) for further proceedings, said several deportees kept in the lockup of FIA office at Regal Chowk.

Deportees said when they landed at Lahore Airport by Qatar Airways flight QR-332 from Doha at 2:30am FIA officers were standing in the briefing area displaying names of some of the deportees, whom they segregated. They were set free after they paid bribe to the FIA officials and some were let go after unknown phone calls. The Deportees said that the FIA detained those who could not pay, or had no contact in the right places. The story of woo goes on, the detained would have cases registered against them and they would have to pay bail or pay the police to even get to court.

All the poor who could not pay money or furnish any reference were sent to HTC for action. An FIA inspector said that FIRs would be registered against deportees received from immigration authorities. Most of them belonged to Gujrat, Gujranwala, Lala Musa, and Sialkot areas.

When asked why they came back they said they had been unable to find jobs due to unemployment in Greece and were forced to come back to their home land. They said that they paid Rs3 to 6 lacs to travel agents to go to Greece but the horrific journey and lack of employment had disheartened them.

Muhammad Nadeem, one of the deportees said that he was a resident of Narowal and he had paid Rs6 lacs to one Abdul Qadeer a travel agent and after walking on foot for a month he had reached Greece in 2011. He said they had travelled to Greece via Balochistan, Iran and Turkey. He said that after passing a year in Greece he could not get any job and returned home. Answering a question on how he managed to get such a huge amount, he said that he had sold his cattle and borrowed some money from friends.

Muhammad Yassin a resident of Gujranwala said that he had paid Rs5 lacs to one Ali Bhai a travel agent after selling his plot but could not get any job in Greece.

Abid Hussain resident of Lala Musa said that he had paid Rs2.5 lacs to a human smuggler Hassan Shah after selling his cattle. Syed Shahar Yar resident of Gujrat said that he had gone through a travel agent Usman after paying him Rs.3 lacs. Qaiser Shehzad from Jalalpor Jattan, Gujrat said that Ch Tariq Gujjar received Rs4 lacs from him and transported him to Greece but there he could not get job. Zaheer Abbas resident of Sambrial Silakot said that he had paid Rs6.5 lacs to travel agent Altaf to go to Greece.

An officer of the FIA said that the oppressed and looted passengers were facing FIAs wrath, some were looted at the airport at the hand of immigration authorities while others would have to pay HTC, in both cases.