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Pakistan sends message to international criminals in arrest of British fugitive

AFP

LAHORE -- A British paedophile who fled the United Kingdom before his 19-year jail sentence was handed down has been arrested in Pakistan, officials said on Thursday (January 31), in what one described as a "significant achievement" against international crime.

Choudhry Ikhalaq Hussain, 41, of Pakistani origin, was sentenced in absentia in 2016 after being found guilty by a court in the United Kingdom of three counts of sexual activity with a child, two counts of rape and one count of conspiracy to rape.

The British High Commission in Islamabad said Hussain was arrested in a joint UK-Pakistan operation in Sangla Saturday (January 26).

British authorities said they have been working closely with their Pakistani counterparts since 2017 to secure Hussain's arrest and extradition.

"The arrest... is a significant achievement, and another excellent example of UK-Pakistan co-operation in tackling international criminality," said British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew in a statement.

"It sends a clear message that Pakistan is not a safe haven for international criminals," he added.

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