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Alien Smuggling Ring Dismantled

Washington, D.C. January 07, 2003
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

An international alien smuggling ring has been broken up by the FBI, other federal agencies, and Canadian and other foreign partners. In the course of this investigation, certain individuals who are under investigation were determined to have provided false information in an attempt to assist their own situations. At the time this information was initially received, combined with other investigative and intelligence information, there was a heightened need to determine the whereabouts of five individuals who possibly may have entered the United States illegally.

With the aid of information subsequently provided by the public, investigators were able to determine that five individuals identified did not pose an imminent threat to public safety. As a result, there is no longer need for public assistance in locating these individuals. There are ongoing investigations both here in the U.S. and overseas that continue to uncover and dismantle alien smuggling and fraudulent document operations.

For example, last week federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York filed a criminal complaint charging Choudry G. Muhammad and Mohammad Rana with alien smuggling, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1324. The complaint alleges that from at least 1997, the defendants smuggled and assisted in the smuggling of illegal aliens from Pakistan, among other places, to the United States in exchange for fees of approximately $15,000 to $30,000 per alien.

In addition to the FBI, other agencies which participated in this recent investigation included Office of Homeland Security, Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Customs, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, Department of State, U.S. Marshal's Service, and law enforcement and security agencies in Canada and the United Kingdom.

The FBI, as well as all of law enforcement, greatly appreciates the cooperation of the American people, and encourages the public to continue to be vigilant in matters which help ensure the safety of the United States and its citizens.