LAHORE: The abduction of two European nationals has led to the Punjab Assembly aiming to legislate on regularizing and registering travel agents.  Swiss citizen Stephan Ehrhardt and a German citizen Maria Spari were abducted and deprived of thousands of Euros by their travel agent. 

According to Police, the two Europeans arrived in Pakistan on 10th February. The next day their host and travel agent, Rana Irfan took them for a tour of the city.

The accused, Rana Irfan, abducted the two foreigners and later stole 6300 Euros and 1.86 Bitcoin through digital transfer. The police did not have viable leads in the case as the accused had left no trace that could help the police to locate him. The slow progress on the case led to pressure from the European embassies for the arrest of the accused. 

Today in a meeting at the Chief Minister’s office the legislative draft to keep checks and balances on travel agents in the province was finalized. 

Currently, in Pakistan, travel agents regularisation comes under the ambit of federal law and provinces do not have relevant legislation in this regard. 

Sources told The Correspondent that the Travel Agent Act will soon be introduced in the Punjab Assembly which would reduce such crimes. The Travel Agent Act will impose a register that would have the information of a travel agent which would then grant access to hotel booking and other travelling arrangements for foreigners.

The act also increases the amount of the fine imposed. The act empowers the provincial government to revoke licences along with a maximum Rs 3 lac fine.

Currently, a maximum of Rs 25,000 plenty and suspension of the licence of travel agency is the punishment for violating federal laws.


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