Washington, DC- The United States on Wednesday (February 20) identified an Indian national and his parents as accomplices in his drug trafficking network. The US imposed financial sanctions prohibiting all dealings by US persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of the blocked persons.
The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identified Indian national Jasmeet Hakimzada as a Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).
“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. Mandelker added, “This action is a result of years of effort with our US and foreign partners to disrupt the activities of this significant narcotics trafficking organization. We are leveraging extensive international partnerships to deploy a multilayered, coordinated approach to secure our borders and deny narcotics traffickers access to the United States.”
Hakimzada, who resides in the United Arab Emirates, runs a global drug trafficking network that smuggles heroin, cocaine, ephedrine, ketamine and synthetic opioids into the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, the Treasury Department announced.
OFAC also designated his parents, who also reside in the UAE, for their roles in Jasmeet Hakimzada’s criminal organization: Harmohan Hakimzada, Jasmeet’s father, is his primary partner in the drug trafficking and money laundering operation; and Eljeet Kaur, Jasmeet’s mother, who serves as an officer in two front companies in India.
The four commercial establishments listed by the US authorities 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. The announcement highlighted that the UAE- based company 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.
Since at least 2008, Jasmeet 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 United States, Brazil, India, Panama, the UAE, and the UK.
Earlier on April 5, 2017, a federal grand jury in the US District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee indicted Jasmeet Hakimzada on 46 counts of drug trafficking and money laundering. Over the course of three years from 2014 through 2016, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) conducted an extensive investigation into Jasmeet Hakimzada’s global narcotics and money laundering operation uncovering dozens of drug trafficking and money laundering-related transactions transiting the United States involving numerous US banks, as well as drug shipments directly to the United States using commercial international courier services.
Highlighting the hard work of investigation by the HSI in Tennessee, while working in cooperation with the Treasury partners, Derek Benner, the Executive Associate Director for HSI noted the “global investigative presence HSI brings to the fight against international drug trafficking.”
“Jasmeet Hakimzada’s criminal organization is profiting by importing these dangerous illegal drugs into the United States,” said Benner, adding, “HSI is committed to using wide ranging investigative authorities to target these criminals and their finances.”
The Treasury Department announcement also listed the penalties and jail terms for violations of the Kingpin Act as ranging from civil penalties of up to $1,466,485 per violation to more severe criminal penalties. Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million. Other individuals could face up to 10 years in prison and fines.
OFAC’s list detailed the three individuals as follows:
Father, Harmohan Singh Hakimzada, Flat 17, 2nd FL Atlas Tower, Jamal Abdud Nasir Rd., Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; born on June 23, 1953; nationality India; Gender Male; Passport 1850327 (India); alt. Passport Z1432933 (India).
Mother, Eljeet Kaur Hakimzada, Flat 17, 2nd FL Atlas Tower, Jamal Abdud Nasir Rd., Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; born on May 3, 1959; nationality India; Gender Female; Passport Z2525822 (India).
Prime accused son, Jasmeet Singh Hakimzada, Flat 17, 2nd FL Atlas Tower, Jamal Abdud Nasir Rd., Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; born on June 26,1979; nationality India; Gender Male; Passport Z2030393 (India).