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Indian national charged with heroin smuggling into US

New York: A 55-year-old Indian national, who was extradited to the US from Kenya, has been charged for allegedly participating in a major narcotics importation scheme from suppliers in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami, along with Baktash Akasha 40, Ibrahim Akasha, 28, and Pakistani citizen Gulam Hussein, 61, have been charged with involvement in a narcotics importation conspiracy and were brought to the US from Kenya, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara said.

The four were arrested in Mombasa, Kenya in November 2014 following a US request. They were charged with four counts of conspiring to import heroin and methamphetamine into the US.

Each count carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.

They were charged in a superseding indictment with narcotics importation offenses based on their delivery of 99 kilograms of heroin and two kilograms of methamphetamine in Kenya, which they intended would be imported into the US.

“As alleged, the four defendants who arrived yesterday in New York ran a Kenyan drug trafficking organisation with global ambitions. For their alleged distribution of literally tons of narcotics — heroin and methamphetamine — around the globe, including to America, they will now face justice in a New York federal court,” Bharara said.

From about March 2014 through the date of their arrests, the four men conspired to import large quantities of heroin into the US.

Baktash Akasha is the leader of an organised crime family in Kenya responsible for the production and distribution of large quantities of narcotics within Kenya and throughout Africa.

Goswami managed the Akasha Organisation’s drug business, including the production and distribution of methamphetamine and the procurement and distribution of heroin.

Hussein, a long-time associate of Goswami, headed a transportation network that distributes massive quantities of narcotics throughout the Middle East and Africa, and has acknowledged responsibility for transporting tons of kilograms of heroin by sea.

Over the course of several months, during telephone calls and meetings in Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya, the defendants supplied multi-kilograms of heroin and methamphetamine to individuals they believed to be representatives of a South American drug-trafficking organisation, but who were in fact confidential sources working at the direction and under the supervision of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

They negotiated on behalf of the Akasha Organisation to procure and distribute hundreds of kilograms of heroin from suppliers in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region and to produce and distribute hundreds of kilograms of methamphetamine, which they understood would ultimately be imported into the US.

PTI