US imposes sanctions on UAE-based NRIs for smuggling drugs
The US has slapped sanctions against a UAE-based Indian man and his parents for allegedly running a global money laundering and smuggling network for heroin.
The US Department of Treasury on Wednesday said Jasmeet Hakimzada, who lives in the UAE, runs a global drug trafficking network that smuggles heroin, cocaine, ephedrine, ketamine, and synthetic opioids into the US, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
Since 2008, Hakimzada has laundered hundreds of millions of dollars of illicit proceeds using his UAE-based company Maiwand General Trading Company LLC through financial institutions in the US, Brazil, India, Panama, the UAE and the UK, it alleged.
The Department of Treasury also designated his parents and four entities registered in India or the UAE that form part of the narcotics trafficking organisation run by Hakimzada.
Jasmeet Hakimzada's global drug trafficking and money laundering network has been involved in smuggling heroin and synthetic opioids around the world, said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
The Treasury said it designated Harmohan Hakimzada, Hakimzada's father, for him being primary partner in the drug trafficking and money laundering operation; and Eljeet Kaur, his mother, who serves as an officer in two front companies in India.
The four entities designated today include three entities based in India Maiwand Exim Private Limited, Maiwand Tobacco Limited, and Maiwand Beverages Limited and UAE-based Maiwand General Trading Company LLC, which operates as a front for an array of illicit activities to include shipping narcotics and illegal pharmaceuticals as well as laundering large sums of narcotics proceeds.
On April 5, 2017, a federal grand jury in the US District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee indicted Hakimzada on 46 counts of drug trafficking and money laundering, the Treasury said in a media release.
Over the course of three years from 2014 through 2016, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) conducted an extensive investigation into Hakimzada's global narcotics and money laundering operation uncovering dozens of drug trafficking and money laundering-related transactions transiting the US involving numerous US banks, as well as drug shipments directly to the US using commercial international courier services.