how human traffickers and smuggling Work in Pakistan
Markets’ of people who want to go to Europe in Quetta: ‘When there is a rush, two auctions have to be held instead of one
Last time I crossed the check post with 14 people sitting in a 2D vehicle. And if there are young boys, etc., then we can accommodate people up to 19. When it comes to illegal transportation, it goes beyond humanity.
A human trafficker who met the BBC team in the Panj Pai area, 80 km from the provincial capital Quetta, started the conversation like this. Before the start of the meeting, he had told us that he could not give us more than an hour, and during that one hour, he repeatedly urged us not to reveal his identity or face in any way.
The address of this human trafficker in Quetta was provided to us by an agent based in the European country Belgium.
After contacting this agent asked us to reach a secluded area of Panj Pai where we saw no one except one or two passersby. Most of the houses in this area were made of mud and the seat where we were seated for this meeting was also made of mud.
At the beginning of the meeting, he informed us that he works to bring Pakistani citizens who want to reach Europe illegally to the border of Iran, from where they are sold by other smugglers and their work ends. It happens
Citizens wishing to go to Europe from different cities of Pakistan arrive at various bus stations and other places in the provincial capital Quetta. Where the first difficult task is to bring them to the border of Iran. Generally, these people are transported from Quetta to Iran, from where they are illegally transported from Iran to Turkey and after Turkey to Europe. And according to the human smuggler we met, “There is a lot of risk in this work, but the main thing is that there is no guarantee of life.”
Jabal Noor and Musa Colony in Quetta are the biggest markets for people who want to go to Europe illegally. There is an auction of people early in the morning. If they are Baloch, Punjabi, and Sindhi, then the fee to bring them to the Iran border is five thousand rupees per person, but if someone is of Hazara nationality, the rate is up to eight thousand. Our job is to pick up people from here and take them to the border of Iran. Sometimes there is such a rush that we have to do two auctions instead of one.”
“Apart from Musa Colony and Jabal-e-Noor, auction work is also done in Hazar Ganji.
How are human auctions conducted?
Explaining the procedure of the auction, the agent claimed that people who want to go to Europe are brought here by putting up curtains in a Suzuki van. After that, the agent in Quetta and the agent leading to Iran see the people sitting in this Suzuki and identify them. And then the money is fixed based on their nationality.
Most of the people come from Pakistan’s Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. We urge those coming from outside to wear Pathani caps or Balochi clothes. Hazaras take more money from people of nationality because of the threat of organization. Because it has also happened in the past that the people of the banned organization checked our vehicles.
The auction agent then transports them to the border by trucks, coaches, or buses. Those who pay the least amount like two to three thousand are put in the tool kit of the bus and taken away. A toolkit is a section under the bus where people’s belongings are kept. It is an open space,
In addition to the tool kit, people are forced to cross the check post at the place of the air conditioner of the bus. “Of course, people have to, don’t they,” Smuggler said with a smile. They agree, After successfully crossing the check post, these persons are dropped off at predetermined locations near the Iranian border.
From here they are told the route, the precautions, and then they are told to run ahead, where the next agent is waiting for them.” They get scared and abandon their plans to go to Europe and make their way back, and the next agent takes only those who can reach him. When he repeatedly mentioned the check post when he was asked if the officials standing at the check post did not stop him. Especially when according to the agent, 19 people are carried in the vehicle at a time. The smuggler accused him that if the official sitting at the check post is local and familiar, the matter can be settled even for five thousand rupees. But if this is not the case, it will cost up to 30 thousand rupees. After taking the money, these people let them go and if there is more strictness at the checkpoint, we already ask people to get out of the car and run away through secret routes and ask them to meet at another point.
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