Islamabad, June 2 : Travel agents in Britain are fleecing people seeking Pakistani visas and earning on an average 60,000-80,000 pounds a month, allegedly in connivance with some officials of the Pakistan High Commission in London, official documents have revealed.
These travel agents enjoy tacit support of some officials in the Pakistan High Commission and have been operating without the approval of the Foreign Office.
Official documents reveal that every travel agent charges an additional 15-25 pounds per application, and more in 'special cases' as 'service charges'.
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Sadiq feigned ignorance of the issue, saying: "I will check with the High Commission in London."
"The High Commission has not given any code of conduct to these agents and they are free to mint money from the Pakistani community. There is no system of control over what they charge and the present system is also discriminatory against those who come to the embassy in person in extreme weather to personally process their cases," the Dawn quoted the High Commission documents as saying.
The documents, however, does not reveal any supporting evidence about those who were involved in the process.
According to the report, there was no approval from either the Ministry or the High Commission of any travel agent or the agency. There was no evidence of any advertisement or the short-listing process, and also there was no fixed procedure for the selection of these 'agents' and it was done by someone using his discretion.
The documents also reveal that all so-called accredited agents were chosen randomly and the file did not mention their credentials.