A court in Pakistan Thursday rejected the bail pleas of 11 Chinese nationals in a case linked to alleged fake marriages, forced prostitution and organ trade of Pakistani girls in China.
Judicial Magistrate Amir Raza rejected the bail pleas after listening to the arguments from both sides, Dawn newspaper reported.
The defence counsel, Saleem Ahmed Khan, contended that his clients were arrested in a fake case. "The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested the suspects after fabricating a story," the counsel said, adding that the Chinese nationals came to Pakistan for business purpose.
"There is no proof against the suspects on the record of the case," he claimed.
The counsel for the FIA, Munem Chaudhry, argued that the suspects deceived Pakistani girls into fake marriages. They sexually exploited the girls after fake marriages, he argued.
He requested the magistrate to reject the bail plea.
On May 8, the FIA had arrested 11 Chinese nationals in multiple raids at several locations in and around Lahore on a tip off.
According to an FIA press release, the agency came to know through a victim about the suspected ring, which involves large sums of money changing hands for the contracting of fake marriages between vulnerable Pakistani women and Chinese men. The women were allegedly trafficked into prostitution in China.
The Pakistani woman said that some people in China were running a business of luring Pakistani women into China to force them into prostitution, and that the suspects were also running an organ trade racket, the FIA press release stated.
Her family then informed the FIA about the incident and a request was sent to the Pakistan High Commission in China, and the woman was repatriated to Pakistan.
Back home, the woman informed the FIA of the ringleader's residence in Lahore, after which raids were conducted and multiple arrests were made, the report said.
The Chinese Embassy in Islamabad has launched an investigation into 142 cross-border marriages that took place in 2018, a Chinese diplomat told UrduNews.
Deputy chief of mission at Chinese Embassy Lijian Zhao said that last year about 142 Pakistani women had applied for wedding visas after marrying Chinese nationals. This year, so far 140 Pakistani brides had applied for such visas, he added.
The embassy, the envoy said, had withheld at least 90 visa applications and alerted the Pakistani authorities.
Talking about recent reports of abuse, the diplomat denied claims in media about Pakistani women being subjected to forced prostitution and organ sale in China.
He said that out of 142 marriages, only a few isolated cases of harassment or torture had been reported. All marriages, he claimed, were legal and registered after due process.