Pak national charged with smuggling undocumented individuals into US

WASHINGTON, Apr 8: A 40-year-old Pakistani national has been indicted by an American federal grand jury for allegedly using fraudulent documents and international travel routes to facilitate the entry of unauthorised individuals into the US from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Abid Ali Khan, between January 2015 and December 2020, allegedly organised, led, and worked, with others in his Pakistan-based smuggling network to facilitate the travel of undocumented individuals to the United States, federal prosecutors alleged on Wednesday.
He is the leader of the Abid Ali Khan TCO, a prolific human smuggling organisation based in Nowshera district of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Khan and members of his Transnational Criminal Organisation (TCO)operate a global network of human smugglers that are responsible for international smuggling of migrants into the United States, it alleged.
A recent Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) revealed Pakistani-based Abid Khan human smuggling network, operating in the Middle East and southwest Asia, is allegedly exploiting systemic vulnerabilities in order to move people into the US and elsewhere.
“Khan allegedly led a global human smuggling operation that used fraudulent documents and international travel routes to facilitate the entry of unauthorised individuals into the US,” said Acting US Attorney Raj Parekh for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Simultaneously, US Department of the Treasury designated Abid Khan and Abid Ali Khan TCO.
The Abid Ali Khan TCO is a human smuggling organisation that has facilitated the unlawful smuggling of foreign nationals, including those who may pose a national security risk to the US or its interests, into the country using various travel routes through Latin America since at least 2015, the treasury said.
Treasury’s designation of this human smuggling organisation as a significant TCO is an important step taken alongside our partners, towards disrupting Abid Ali Khan operations based in Pakistan and around the world, said Andrea Gacki, Director of the Office of the Foreign Assets Control.
According to the Treasury, Khan and members of his TCO coordinate the smuggling of foreign nationals to the US for an average cost of approximately the equivalent of USD 20,000 per individual.
This sum includes, but is not limited to, fees to procure fraudulent or counterfeit documents, make payoffs to corrupt officials, secure lodging along smuggling route, and provide payments to facilitators in various countries, the Treasury said.
Abid Ali Khan TCO often provides travellers with fraudulently obtained passports from different countries to facilitate his clients’ global movement and smuggling to the US.
It frequently utilises a common route of travel that begins in Pakistan or Afghanistan, transiting through certain South and Central American countries, before arriving at the southern border of the US. (PTI)