The US Department of Justice and Department of the Treasury has recently busted a Pakistan-based human smuggling network that was helping people to illegally migrate to the US through the southern border at an average cost of $20,000 per person. The mastermind behind the operation has been identified as Pakistan based Abid Ali Khan who has been conducting his operations from Nowshera, Pakistan since 2015.
The recent developments show that US government enforcement has taken action against and identified the mastermind behind the operation as – Abid Ali Khan.
As per the allegation filed by Miami based ICE Homeland Security Investigations, Abid Ali Khan has been conducting his operations from Nowshera, Pakistan since 2015.
He used to help Afghans and Pakistanis to illegally migrate to different countries.
Abid Ali Khan still helps people from Afghanistan and Pakistan to illegally migrate to Brazil by air, then overland through Central America and Mexico and at an average cost of $20,000 per person.
However, neither Khan nor any of his key subordinates have yet been arrested.
So in a rare secondary move to “help stop Khan and his network from allegedly continuing to smuggle persons to the United States”, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Khan and three others in his network, as a Transnational Criminal Organization.
After the designation, the U.S. government can begin operations to disrupt Khan’s finances and isolate him and his subordinates from most financial dealings.
The involved U.S. agencies did not mention the whereabouts of Khan or his alleged co-conspirators. But they prompted Pakistan to hunt down and interrogate Khan in his native, Pakistan.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a quite detailed press release on April 5, in which they acknowledged the separate January and March apprehensions of two Yemenis.
These two Yemenis were already on the FBI’s terrorism watch list. They were apprehended near Calexico, Calif.
The Federal government officials said that the Khan smuggling organization is a live and continuing national security threat to the US at the southern border.
However, in one of the releases, Anthony Salisbury, the Miami Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge noted that the Khan network transported “people with nefarious motivations” into the United States.
He also said that his Miami team was committed to prosecuting individuals like Khan who “pose a threat to national security”.
Likewise, Nicholas L. McQuaid, the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, noted in the same Treasury Department statement that the government moves sought to prosecute Khan and smugglers like him “who seek to profit from … jeopardizing our national security.”
The question still remains that even after being smuggled illegally to the US, how is it possible that those people are able to obtain legal permission to remain once they cross.
The possible answer can be that all this is done through the U.S. asylum system.
These SIA smugglers (aspiring illegal U.S. border entrants whom homeland security categorizes as “special interest aliens”, or SIAs) exploit the U.S. asylum system’s inability to verify even the identities and stories of strangers who show up at the border with no identification or bogus passports.
Europe is also suffering due to a highly similar asylum system.
The US government alleges that the Khan organization’s counterfeit identity documents and altered stolen passports “significantly impair appropriate immigration vetting processes”, and “undermine the credibility of the US asylum system, damaging public confidence in the vetting process.”