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Published On: Sat, Aug 26th, 2017

Suspected Pakistani drug kingpin Asif Hafeez, arrested in UK, faces extradition to the United States

nsnbc : The 58-year-old Pakistani national Asif Hafeez was arrested in London and faces extradition to the United States on charges that carry at least 30 years in prison, prosecutors in New York announced on Friday.

heroin_drugsAsif Hafeez, a.k.a. “the Sultan”, is according to U.S. prosecutors charged with trafficking several tons of heroin and methamphetamine. He faces three counts in federal court in Manhattan, each with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years. Lawyers for Hafeez could not immediately be identified.

Prosecutors said that from 2013 until his arrest, Hafeez conspired to import methamphetamine into the United States. They also said that at one point Hafeez and others sought to establish a methamphetamine production facility in Mozambique, but had to abandon that plan after authorities seized several tons of ephedrine from a factory in India that was to be used to make the methamphetamine.

Prosecutors have also accused Hafeez of conspiring to import heroin into the United States with Baktash Akasha Abdalla, the leader of an organized crime family in Kenya, and others. Baktash Akasha was arrested in 2014 in a U.S.-led sting operation, and extradited along with three others to face charges in New York in January.

F/AK – nsnbc 26.08.2017


August 25, 2017
Contact: DEA Public Affairs
(202) 307-7977
Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney and DEA announce provisional arrest in London of Pakistani National for drug-trafficking on a massive scale

AUGUST 25 (MANHATTAN, N.Y.) – Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Raymond Donovan, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Special Operations Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration today announced that Muhammad Asif Hafeez, aka ‘Sultan,’ was provisionally arrested in London pursuant to charges filed in the Southern District of New York, which were unsealed today, based on Hafeez’s participation in drug-trafficking activities involving large, and in some instances multi-ton, quantities of heroin, methamphetamine, and methamphetamine precursor chemicals. The United States plans to seek Hafeez’s extradition from the United Kingdom.

‘The arrest of Muhammad Asif Hafeez is another win in the fight against global criminals and one of DEA’s priority targets,’ said DEA Special Operations Division Special Agent-in-Charge Raymond Donovan. ‘He has been allegedly linked to a transnational criminal organisation responsible for manufacturing and distributing ton quantities of narcotics. Removing criminals like Hafeez benefits not just the citizens of London, but communities worldwide.’

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said, ‘As alleged, Muhammad Asif Hafeez, a long-time, priority target of the DEA known as the ‘Sultan,’ trafficked in drugs on a massive and global scale, working with transnational criminal organisations to manufacture and distribute enormous quantities of heroin and methamphetamine around the world and into the United States. From Kenya and Mozambique to London and New York, Hafeez’s alleged drug operation saw no borders or boundaries – until now. Thanks to the unwavering commitment of the DEA and the prosecutors in this Office, the ‘Sultan’ has been caught and will have to face American narcotics charges.’

According to the allegations contained in S5 and S7 Superseding Indictments filed in Manhattan federal court charging Hafeez and certain of his co-conspirators:

From 2013 through the date of his provisional arrest, Hafeez conspired to import methamphetamine into the United States. In connection with this conspiracy, Hafeez and certain of his co-conspirators sought to establish a methamphetamine-production facility in Mozambique. But Hafeez and his co-conspirators were forced to abandon their plan after law enforcement authorities seized approximately 18 tons of ephedrine from a factory in Solapur, India, including several tons of ephedrine that Hafeez and his co-conspirators planned to use as a precursor chemical to manufacture methamphetamine in Mozambique.

Hafeez is also charged with participating in a conspiracy with co-defendants Baktash Akasha Abdalla, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla, Gulam Hussein, and Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami to import heroin into the United States. Baktash Akasha Abdalla was the leader of an organized crime family in Kenya (the ‘Akasha Organisation’), which was responsible for the production and distribution of ton quantities of narcotics within Kenya and throughout Africa and maintained a network used to distribute narcotics for importation into the United States. In October 2014, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla delivered a one-kilogram heroin sample, on behalf of Hafeez and the Akasha Organization, to confidential sources acting at the direction of the DEA in Nairobi. In early November 2014, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla delivered 98 additional kilograms of heroin to the sources.

In November 2014, Baktash Akasha Abdalla, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla, Hussein, and Goswami were provisionally arrested in Kenya. They arrived in the District for prosecution based on the pending drug-trafficking charges in January 2017.

* * *

Hafeez, 58, a Pakistani national residing in, among other places, London, is charged with conspiring to import heroin into the United States; conspiring to import methamphetamine into the United States; and aiding and abetting the distribution of heroin, knowing and intending that it would be imported into the United States. Each charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. The potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.

Mr. Kim praised the outstanding efforts of the Special Operations Division of the DEA, Bilateral Investigations Unit. Mr. Kim also thanked the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency, the London Metropolitan Police Service – Extradition Team, the DEA London Country Office, the DEA Dubai Country Office, the DEA Nairobi Country Office, the DEA Pretoria Country Office, the DEA New Delhi Country Office, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs and London Attaché.

This prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emil J. Bove III, Patrick Egan, and Amanda L. Houle are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Superseding Indictments charging Hafeez, Baktash Akasha Abdalla, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla, Gulam Hussein, and Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Attachment(s): Download Chukwuemeka Okparaeke signed complaint.pdf

Topic(s): Drug Trafficking Component(s): USAO [U.S. Attorneys | Department of Justice] – New York, Southern

Press Release Number: 17-088

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